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 August 2020 newsletter which details the recent efforts of Sharks Have Heart and the initiatives and organisations it supports.
Ronaldo ‘Stepping up’
Young Sharks star Ronaldo Mulitalo has been appointed as an ambassador for Stepping Stone House, the award winning organisation that transforms the lives of homeless youth in Sydney.
To kick off his ambassadorship Mulitalo set up a social media campaign inspired by the successful ‘Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5’ initiative in the UK, one that received the backing of his Sharks teammates and is aimed at helping to raise funds to provide care for some of Australia’s most vulnerable kids.
As a part of the campaign Mulitalo encouraged donations for as little as $5 in assisting Stepping Stone House’s in their efforts to better the lives of homeless youth.
Learn more about Stepping Stone House, youth homelessness, as well as Mulitalo’s personal story and his motivation to become involved by going to the following link – CLICK HERE
Or to make a donation go to https://steppingstonehouse.com.au/donate-now/.
Jerome is a ‘Sharks Star’
Sharks Stars, headed up by Sharks Have Heart Disability Programs Coordinator Brendon Coombes, aims to connect people living with disability to their community through employment.
Launched in February after a grant was approved from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Sharks Stars is doing some outstanding work, while at the same time unearthing a ‘young star’ currently involved with the program.
Jerome, a young man intent and focused on making his mark as a teacher’s aide, has overcome some obstacles along the way, however with the help of Coombes and Sharks Stars, has entered the workforce, is powering forward and his future looks extremely bright.
His is a story of persistence and resilience and Jarome, who is extremely thankful for the support he has received, is about to reap the rewards.
While Jerome is one success story, Sharks Stars is set to deliver plenty more, with clients and their parents and carers recently presented with a learning module in Certificate 3 Customer Engagement a training provider
The course, which is to run over 26 weeks in a classroom setting, is already underway, with Coombes to assist the participants through the process.
Sharks Stars is a first of its kind program amongst NRL clubs in supporting inclusion and creating connection through the community It welcomed the first group of participants in February before COVID lockdowns presented a new set of challenges.
For more on the remarkable journey Jarome has taken so far, or how Sharks Stars is proving to be an asset to a very important group in the community, click on the following link – CLICK HERE
Sharks making ‘Deadly Choices’
The Sharks have launched a new Indigenous program in building on their relationship with respected health and well-being organisation Deadly Choices.
The two came together last year in piloting an Indigenous health program throughout schools in the local Sutherland Shire area and with the success of the original partnership and with the support of the Primary Health Network, extra resources have resulted in the appointment of Quirindi-born, Tamworth-raised Rachal Allan to head up the new program.
Previously employed as an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) worker in Wellington in northern NSW and then more recently working in a similar role in Wollongong, Allan has begun her role as Indigenous Programs Coordinator at the Sharks as she looks to make an impact by helping to educate students with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island heritage on healthy lifestyles.
As a part of her role, Allan will be presenting health promotion, encouraging Aboriginal students to take the 715-health check, while liaising with local elders, schools and related services in and around the Sutherland Shire community.
The appointment of Ms Allan came on the eve of the Sharks Indigenous Round clash against the Brisbane Broncos.
For more on the new appointment and the Sharks partnership with Deadly Choices, go to the following link – CLICK HERE
Adding colour and culture to Sharks Indigenous Round celebrations
Local area Indigenous school students joined with the Sharks in a special initiative to help celebrate NRL Indigenous Round.
Sharks NRL project officer Tayla Kafoa gathered 14 Sutherland Shire students from a handful of different high schools to take part in a painting class led by local elder Aunty Deanna Schreiber, a respected artist who also delivers the Sharks Cultural Awareness Program.
As a part of the initiative, the boots of the Sharks NRL squad were painted in traditional Aboriginal dot style designs.
Andrew Fifita collected the boots from his teammates, Kafoa then organised for around 20 pairs to be transported to the Cronulla club’s new base at Sharks at Kareela where the painting took place.
The Sharks NRL squad wore the specially painted boots in their Indigenous Round match against the Broncos back on July 31.
Kafoa works with the students on a regular basis as part of the NRL’s School to Work, a program which provides support to Year 11 and 12 Indigenous students navigating the HSC and guidance for their further education and post school employment opportunities.
The Sharks also played in a uniquely designed Indigenous jersey in that same match in representing local Cronulla and Sutherland Shire Aboriginal culture.
Read more about the Indigenous Round and this special Sharks initiative.
Vote for Jason as our Westfield Local Hero
Jason Stanton, the man driving the Sharks Have Heart supported Skillz4me All Abilities program, has been nominated in the Westfield Local Hero awards, with the winners receiving $10,000 for their organisation.
Skillz4me is a not-for-profit charity initiative, started five years ago by Jason and his wife Sarah, that caters for families who have children with a disability.
Skillz4me has helped over 250 families who have children with a disability, with up to 100 families attending the program weekly.
As a result of their outstanding efforts, Skillz4Me are on a short list of six nominees with three receiving the $10,000 grant.
The Skillz4me program offers families free access to therapists for their children in a fun and engaging way, the weekly sports session allowing kids to socialise and take part in activities they would otherwise not have the opportunity to engage in.
Skillz4me helps improve confidence, social skills, coordination and communication with the program bringing therapists, teachers and social workers together, all in one environment to assist families in need.
VOTE for Jason Stanton and the SKILLZ4ME ALL ABILITIES CENTRE
Please click on the link below and spread the word about this great program in the Shire. CLICK HERE to vote.
Or to find out more about the Skillz4me program and the wonderful service Jason and his team provides - CLICK HERE
Sharks Have Heart thank Woolooware Bay for their ongoing support which allows us to deliver our Sharks Have Heart community programs and initiatives.