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 September 2020 newsletter which details the recent efforts of Sharks Have Heart and the initiatives and organisations it supports.
Mullets for Mental health
A number of the Sharks playing group sported distinctive ‘mullet’ hair styles through the month of September, which rather than just being a style choice, was in support of an extremely worthy cause.
Led by senior squad members Josh Dugan and Andrew Fifita, the Sharks players pledged their support to the Mullets for Mental Health initiative in attempting to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Black Dog Institute.
The initiative ran through September, with donations made online through the dedicated Sharks Mullets for Mental Health page.
With 1 in 5 experiencing symptoms of mental illness in any given year, adding up to around 5 million Australian’s, Mullets for Mental Health will assist the Black Dog Institute in fundraising efforts to support research into the issue.
Go to the link below to find out more about the Black Dog Institute and the Sharks Mullets for Mental Health initiative - CLICK HERE
Mulitalo a nominee for prestigious NRL medal
Young gun Ronaldo Muliltalo was recognised for his off field efforts during 2020 with a nomination for the NRL’s Ken Stephen Medal, an award recognising the efforts of a player who has not only achieved on the field but has given up countless hours to community projects.
The Ken Stephen Medal sees players nominated by their NRL club for going above and beyond in their involvement in charity work, youth development or community support and while many of the Sharks playing group are regular and committed contributors to community events and initiatives, Mulitalo’s ambassadorial role with youth homelessness organisation Stepping Stone House, coupled with his outstanding commitment to club community programs, not to mention his passionate support of good friend Fine Kula throughout his battles with brain cancer, made him the standout choice as the Sharks award nominee.
Fans were invited to cast their vote for the Ken Stephen Medal nominee they would like to see become one of four finalists, with the other three to be voted by a panel of judges.
The finalists were due to be revealed at the Dally M Awards night during Grand Final week, with the Ken Stephen Medal winner to be crowned on Grand Final day.
To read more about Mulitalo, his work in the community and his Ken Stephen nomination, go to the following link. CLICK HERE
Sharks embrace JL Grand Final weekend
The Sharks NRL training session took on something of a different look on the Tuesday ahead of their round 20 match against the Raiders, with the squad training in an assortment of local junior league club jerseys to acknowledge and celebrate 2020 Grand Final weekend.
Blayke Brailey donned the Aquinas strip in which he was so successful as a junior league player, Connor Tracey was in his old De La Salle light blue, while Scott Sorensen and Bryson Goodwin proudly wore the colours of Cronulla Caringbah and Gymea respectively in paying tribute to their former clubs.
All players in the NRL squad wore jerseys supplied by a Sutherland Shire club in recognising the upcoming Grand Finals as they prepared for their biggest weekend of the year.
In all there was 44 competition deciders, at four different local Sutherland Shire venues on each of the two days.
Read more about the Sharks support of the junior league as he curtain came down on a successful season despite the associated challenges presented by the COVID situation. CLICK HERE
Sharks Stars shone bright throughout 2020
Sharks Stars, the NDIS funded program for 2020 run by Brendan Coombes from Sharks Have Heart is set to conclude during October.
The program which aims to support young adults with a disability in transitioning to employment, saw the participants successfully complete their Certificate 3 in customer service, in addition to a computers skills course, with the program sessions conducted out of the Sharks at Kareela club.
Sharks Have Heart are waiting for confirmation from the Department of Social Services (DSS) if the program will continue and be re-funded for 2021, with the scheme recently shifted from NDIS to the DSS.
Sharks Stars was 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 set of challenges, however the program continued to operate with Coombes working closely with the Sharks Stars clients to set goals, with workplace etiquette, resume and cover letter writing, job seeking, interview skills, conflict resolution, computer skills and in being resilient, offering knowledge and experience that will hopefully lead to acceptance into the workforce.
Jersey Day and R U Okay Day
The Sharks got behind two special community initiatives with their support of Jersey Day and RU Okay Day during the month of September.
A fun way to raise awareness and start the conversation about the importance of organ donation, Jersey Day on Friday, September 4 saw staff at Sharks at Kareela and at the Sharks Woolooware base at PointsBet Stadium, wear their favourite sporting jersey.
Then the following week, on Thursday, September 10, it was the nationally-recognised R U Okay Day which aims to remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, “are you OK?” if someone you are in contact with is struggling with life’s ups and downs.
This year’s theme centred around “there’s more to say” after “R U Okay” to encourage Australians to go that step further in checking in on people in our lives.
In a further show of support staff at Kareela wore something yellow, while also selling black and yellow donuts, personally made by one of the Sharks at Kareela staff members in an effort help raise funds as well as awareness.
Sharks Have Heart thank Woolooware Bay for their ongoing support which allows us to deliver our Sharks Have Heart community programs and initiatives.