The Sharks have solidified their relationship with the Cronulla Sutherland District Junior League in signing a three-year MOU and in announcing an arrangement for a special equipment fund to be distributed amongst the 14 local clubs.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which is for the next three years, is the first time in recent history the Club and the Junior League have signed a multi-year MOU, a partnership which is set to ensure both organisations work together in a positive manner in the years ahead.
The MOU will stipulate funding to the JRL and benefits to the respective clubs and participants, in relation to such things as ticketing, promotional materials including signed jerseys, NRL player visits and a gear funding contribution that will see one dollar from every casual Sharks home game ticket to be donated an equipment fund to be divided equally across the 14 JRL Clubs.
Sharks CEO Barry Russell in signing off on the MOU and the equipment fund contribution, was pleased the District Club had some clear direction as to where their relationship with the JRL was headed over the next few years.
“I think the Junior League for us has always been an integral part of the Club and it’s always been my desire to have a good, strong working relationship,” Russell told The Leader.
“Being a local junior and coming from that nursery myself, I felt it was a good time to partner with the junior league and to give a long-term commitment.
“We’ve got a huge responsibility to support the junior league and our 14 clubs are vital to our long-term success. This gives them some certainty,” Russell added.
Both initiatives met with extremely positive reactions at a recent Junior League meeting, attended by all clubs and their delegates, with George Nour, the General Manager of Sharks Have Heart delivering the news.
While what will be rolled out over three years as a part of the MOU was well received, the 14 local clubs were especially excited about the ticketing fund, with training gear and equipment to be made available through accounts at HART Sports.
Chris Allen, President of the Gymea JRLFC, one of the largest clubs in the local district, expressed his appreciation in a message to Nour and to Matt Prindable from HART Sport.
“On behalf of Gymea JRLFC we thank you and Hart Sport for teaming up with Cronulla Sharks and launching this generous initiative,” Allen wrote. “As a club with 39 tackle teams and 6 tag teams, keeping training gear up to date can be expensive. These vouchers will definitely ease the burden.”
Based off last year’s figures, the Sharks would have donated $50,000 to the equipment fund, equating to just over $3,500 per club. The first Sharks home game of 2019 generated over $5,000.
The funds will be immediately deposited into accounts set up by HART Sport for the clubs to access after Sharks home games, equipment that can be immediately accessed without having to wait until the end of the season.
The Junior League season is set to get underway, with games scheduled in mini, mod and international tackle, as well as non-contact competitions, at the various Shire venues this weekend.
See our Sharks Media video presentation, including comment from Nathan Waugh, the Chairman of the CSDJRL and Barry Russell Sharks CEO, announcing the new MOU and gear funding arrangement.