Josh Dugan and Kyle Flanagan have been announced as the Sharks NRL Community Advocates for 2019, Dugan as State of Mind ambassador and Flanagan as a Voice Against Violence.
They join some of the game’s biggest male and female stars as NRL Community Advocates in helping support two of the biggest NRL community programs.
The two Sharks join Michael Morgan, Dane Gagai, David Klemmer, Kezie Apps and Darius Boyd on a list of 34 current players that have self-nominated to promote the programs and help shed more awareness of the positive work being undertaken game-wide.
As an ambassador for the Sharks Make Bullying History Initiative, Dugan has been extremely active in the community space, while as an emerging star, Flanagan shapes as the perfect fit to help promote the Voice Against Violence messages amongst the youth of the local area.
A local junior who has come through the Sharks junior rep and Academy system, Flanagan will be engaging with a group of the under 16’s players from local JRL clubs.
The Sharks will host a total of 150 young players over three sessions in a program led and run by former Canberra Raider Alan Tongue, conducted in partnership with White Ribbon, Full Stop Foundation and Our Watch.
The sessions, to be held during June and July, will be one-hour theory, one-hour practical and based at PointsBet Stadium.
The National Rugby League will ensure the program is delivered within the Cronulla Sutherland District Junior Rugby League for three sessions, at which it will be compulsory for all local clubs with under 16’s players to have representation.
The Voice Against Violence sessions compliment the Sharks Love Bites program which is run through Sutherland Shire area schools.
In addition to Dugan’s involvement, Sharks Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership players Ruan Sims and Maddie Studdon will also be State of Mind advocates.
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder congratulated the players on their commitment and said there were many players and officials that regularly promoted and took part in the Game’s community programs.
“Our State of Mind and Voice Against Violence programs are two of the most important in our game, dealing with issues that impact many communities,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.
“We will continue to use our collective voice across Australia and abroad to promote our work within communities and I want to thank the player advocates that have committed to amplifying awareness of mental wellbeing and violence prevention.”
“With topics such as mental health and domestic violence, it’s crucial that we work closely to ensure our education, training and prevention is correct as we reach out to those that are part of our game – from fans to players; grassroots to our elite athletes.”
NRL community advocates will support the State of Mind and Voice Against Violence programs throughout 2019, with 13 of the 34 players nominating as first-time advocates for the programs.
To learn more about the NRL’s State of Mind and Voice Against Violence programs, including a list of partners, visit www.nrl.com/community
A full list of players is below.
NRL State of Mind player advocates
Josh Dugan (Sharks)
Darius Boyd (Broncos)
Jayden Okunbor (Bulldogs)
Siliva Havili (Raiders)
Dale Copley and Michael Gordon (Titans)
Joel Thompson (Sea Eagles)
Christian Welch and Dale Finucane (Storm)
Hymel Hunt (Knights)
Michael Morgan (Cowboys)
Daniel Alvaro and David Gower (Eels)
Frank Winterstein and Wayde Egan (Panthers)
Dane Gagai (Rabbitohs)
Tariq Sims (Dragons)
Angus Crichton and Simaima Taufa (Roosters)
Paul Momirovski (Tigers)
Ruan Sims, Maddie Studdon and Sam Bremner (NRLW players)
NRL Voice Against Violence player advocates
Kyle Flanagan (Sharks)
Alex Glenn (Broncos)
Aiden Tolman (Bulldogs)
Joseph Tapine (Raiders)
Maxwell King and Michael Gordon (Titans)
Christian Welch (Storm)
David Klemmer (Knights)
Jake Granville (Cowboys)
Daniel Alvaro and David Gower (Eels)
Frank Winterstein (Panthers)
Braidon Burns (Rabbitohs)
Kezie Apps (Dragons)
Simaima Taufa (Roosters)
Ryan Matterson and Josh Aloiai (Tigers)