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Sharks Have Heart Newsletter - October 2019

Through its community arm Sharks Have Heart, the Sharks help, inspire, engage, educate and advance equality by supporting a variety of community programs. See the October newsletter which details the recent efforts of Sharks Have Heart and the initiatives and organisations it supports.

Sharks Highly Commended for ‘Love Bites’ by ClubsNSW
The Sharks and Sharks Leagues Club have been acknowledged with a ‘Highly Commended’ award for the great work carried out alongside Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) for Love Bites. The Sharks received the award in the Education category at the 2019 Clubs NSW Community awards night. Love Bites works to deconstruct the myths that exist in the local community about domestic violence and sexual assault, reaching over 1,200 Year 10 students each year since it was launched in 2011. Sharks Have Heart, through their platinum partner Capital Bluestone, has helped to fund a part time coordinator for the acclaimed school-based domestic and family violence, sexual assault and consent awareness education program. In addition to their award for Love Bites, the Sharks Leagues Club was also a finalist in the category of Disability, Welfare and Social Inclusion for the Deadly Choices program.

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Sharks and Bulldogs team up to help PNG Communities
A delegation of Sharks and Bulldogs players and staff recently joined forces to work on community initiatives in the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea. NRL squad members Sione Katoa and Ronaldo Mulitalo joined Bulldogs players and staff to undertake small construction and community projects in the remote PNG province. Among the work completed were a community hall in a remote community, a rain water collection system and delivery of the Voice Against Violence program to young males in schools and villages across PNG. The great local reaction is proof of the NRL’s special relationship with our closest neighbour, and the ability for our sport to serve as a driving force for change. The next time these two teams meet in PNG it will be to face off in the first ever NRL trial in the region, to be held on February 22 in Port Moresby.

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Spreading the Rugby League Gospel in Fiji
Sharks coach John Morris put a group of Fijian children through their paces at a surprise pop-up training session in VoliVoli and Navueve recently. In Fiji on a family holiday, Morris gave the kids a day they won’t forget when he ran through rugby league drills and skills with the youngsters before handing out Sharks gear to the excited kids. The impromptu training session came about after speaking with some local fathers who worked at Morris’ resort, after which Morris needed no convincing to head out and spread the rugby league gospel amongst the children of the villages. Morris praised the experience for granting his family a greater understanding for Fijian culture as well as noting opportunities for the NRL to capitalise on the keen talents of Fijian youngsters. “I see a real breeding ground for rugby league talent in Fiji and I would love to do more with Fiji Rugby League to help more local talent transition into the NRL” said Morris.

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Sharks bring together local leaders to defeat domestic violence
Eradicating domestic violence in the Shire topped the agenda at the recent Sutherland Shire Men’s Breakfast on October 30.  Sharks Have Heart were proud to partner with Woolooware Bay to host the continually growing event, with this year seeing the biggest turnout yet of 80 local community leaders committed to supporting local initiatives and standing up to act on domestic violence. Sharks CEO Richard Munro was joined by guests invited by Sutherland Shire Council, such as NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman, Member for Heathcote Lee Evans and Mayors and councillors from Sutherland Shire and Georges River Councils. You can do your part to take a stand against domestic violence by joining Sutherland Shire Council’s annual anti-domestic violence walk on Friday 22 November. The full Sharks NRL squad are taking part in the walk, starting from 9am at Don Lucas Reserve and finishing up at Dunningham Park for a free barbecue and official ceremony.

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Sarita a School to Work success story
Hard work, dedication and taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to her during her time in the NRL’s School to Work program, Sarita Singh has become a leader in her local community. Currently School Captain at Heathcote High and now the recipient of the 2019 Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs Award, Singh has used the NRL’s School to Work program as a platform to grow as a student and even more so as a young Indigenous leader. Singh was selected from students across NSW as an exemplar of service, leadership and initiative in contributing to her school community. Cronulla Sharks School to Work Project officer Tayla Kafoa has guided Singh and other local Indigenous students through the NRL supported program. “We are certainly excited to see what’s in store for her future,” Ms Kafoa said. The NRL School to Work Program along with the Cronulla Sharks, are extremely proud of Sarita’s dedication and commitment to herself, her community and the program. Singh aims to one day become a doctor or a teacher and continue to contribute to her community.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.