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CEO Update - December 2020

Sharks Group CEO Dino Mezzatesta with Christmas wishes and a December update for Members and fans.

Dear Members,
Welcome to the last CEO’s update for 2020, a year which will be etched in the history books and remembered as one of the most challenging and unusual for all of us.

We must take time to reflect and thank those that made it possible for us to get through the year and to set ourselves up to tackle 2021 in good shape. 

First and foremost, I thank the players who were required to live in a bubble and play for reduced pay, all the while remaining committed to the cause as we won our way through to the NRL Finals.

Sharks staff, including coaching and football operations staff who like the players were forced inside that ‘bubble’, management and administration staff, all who supported the Club through the shut-down, many working at reduced pay for several months, I thank you for your passion and commitment which has us in a position to be back bigger and better next year.

Our staff at Sharks at Kareela have also done a tremendous job to keep our members and patrons safe and even with all the restrictions have still put customer satisfaction and experience as a priority.

To our members and fans, we appreciate your loyalty and support and for sticking with us throughout the pandemic, then jumping back on board and attending games when crowds were again welcomed into the stadiums.

And to those who have patronised our new Club Sharks at Kareela, we are grateful of your continued support.  

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL

 

Our Community work continues
I would like us to call out the great community work that we do, most recently concerning the Skillz4Me and Sutherland Shire Family Services Christmas events.

Our Head of Community George Nour and his team are is instrumental in ensuring we continue to contribute to community programs and initiatives and the two above events were more shining examples of our community engagement.

We had six of our NRL squads, members of the Sharks Women’s team and some of our Academy players volunteer for the Skillz4Me Christmas Open day, the final event for the year run by Jason and Saran Stanton, the program founders who do absolutely amazing work, with all to represent us on the day fantastic ambassadors of our club.  

If you haven’t seen them already, we took a few photos at the Skillz4Me event and there were some brilliant images showcasing the interaction between the kids and the players, with the feedback I received overwhelmingly positive. CLICK HERE to see the website article and photos taken on the day. 

Further on community and by all reports the annual Christmas Blitz, where members of our NRL playing group spilt up to visit the Sutherland Hospital, Sylvanvale Pre-School and Civic Disabilities centre, was also a huge success.

Then we can’t forget Rachal Allan and our Indigenous Program and partnership with Deadly Choices. In that space Rachal continues to do great things in local schools with young indigenous boys and girls.

We are much more than just a football team and are very proud of our Sharks Have Heart supported community programs and the work they do.

 

Football update
Today is the final day of the pre-Christmas training block and the reports I receive indicate that training has gone to another level under the guidance of Head Coach John Morris and his staff, this year complemented by Head of Performance Nathan Pickworth and Strength and Conditioning Coach Tony Grimaldi, two newcomers to our football department.

As John says, the work they are putting in now will benefit the players at the start, then throughout the season, and we look forward to the boys putting these preparations into practice from round one when we tackle the Dragons.

Thanks to all the players for their attitude and commitment to date and also to the coaching and high-performance staff for their efforts during what has been one of the toughest summer training periods in recent memory.

The latest COVID outbreak was one slight hiccup, however coaching staff allowed a handful of the boys to head home last weekend to beat the interstate border shutdowns and we trust NSW Health can control the situation and that the 2021 season goes ahead with some sort of normality.

Our trial match against the Bulldogs is locked in for February 27 and when more details are available in relation to venue and starting times, we will certainly communicate them to our members and fans through our various media channels.

We welcome our squad back to training on January 5 and from there it will be full steam ahead to the kick off to the 2021 season.

 

Merchandise
The pre-sale for our 2021 Merchandise has been launched and Ben Ross and his team will send out messages to customers who have chosen click and collect.

With the late delivery, unfortunately due to circumstances outside our control, items ordered on-line won’t be delivered prior to Christmas via the mail system, although we do encourage those who have purchased and are in a position to pick up those items, that they check out the Sharks Store hours and drop by in the coming days.

Store hours are 9am until 6pm today and Wednesday. The Sharks Store is then closed until Monday, December 28, before reopening through Wednesday. Regular Sharks Store opening hours will resume on Monday, January 4.

The Sharks Store is located on the lower level at Sharks at Kareela.

We apologise for the delays to the delivery of our 2021 merchandise range, however we thank you for your patience and understanding and hope there is still time and opportunity for your to find that special Sharks Christmas gift.

 

Membership
Thank you to members who have renewed for the 2021 season and we welcome those new members to have joined the Sharks ‘family’.

We are ahead of our Membership numbers for the same time last year and are tracking well for the new season. Obviously, we would love nothing better than to have a full stadium at our home games next year to cheer on our boys, so please encourage your family and friends to join you in becoming a Sharks member in 2021.

While on membership, we have categories to suit all, specifically our Country Interstate option for our regional fans. Therefore, with games scheduled for the Sunshine Coast and Coffs Harbour and with all indications tickets will sell fast, to guarantee first access to ticketing for these games sign up as a Sharks member so as to not be disappointed.

 

Sharks at Kareela
Firstly, while the recent COVID issues affecting the Northern Beaches has seen the return of a level of restrictions across the city, I can assure our Members and guests that Sharks at Kareela strictly adheres to all protocols.

We are a COVID safe venue, with our first priority the health and safety of our members, staff and patrons.

There is much to look forward to over this holiday period and we hope you continue to feel comfortable to utilise Sharks at Kareela for that celebration, get together, Christmas drink or meal.

Check out the Sharks at Kareela website to see what is coming up at the Club – CLICK HERE - included amongst those events are Christmas Day and our New Year’s Eve celebrations.

 

Golf at Kareela
While the golf operations at Kareela are under the control of Head Professional Scott Lennox, we are very much committed to working with him and the men’s and ladies Golf Captains in Peter Lennon and Narelle Axford to make the golfing experience as enjoyable and positive as possible for both golf club members and social players.

The course is currently in excellent condition, so during your Christmas break why not come down and take on the challenge the Kareela course offers.

While on golf, on behalf of the Sharks we congratulate a couple of young achievers who have won the recent men’s and women’s Club Championships.

Only 13 years of age, Kareela young gun Kayun Mudadana claimed his first senior Club Championship with a convincing eight-shot win over last year's winner Bob Hill.

Kayun, who also won the Junior Club Championship, outplayed his opponents with classy rounds of 68-69-67-70 and is certainly one to watch in the future.

Similarly, in the Women’s Club Championship, it was another of Kareela’s young members in Charlotte Perkins coming out on top. Aged just 16, Charlotte is another outstanding young golfer with a bright future.  

 

Commercial
On the sponsorship and commercial partnership front, we were very pleased to confirm Sydney Food Distributors (SFD), formerly known as Sydney Freezers, have returned to the club as our back of shorts partner.

Prior to last year and the challenges associated with many businesses during COVID, SFD was a valued partner during the 2018-2019 seasons and we welcome them back on board for 2021.  

CLICK HERE- To read more about SFD and the new partnership. 

In relation to 2021, corporate hospitality at Netstrata Jubilee is selling well, however there are plenty of opportunities still available. Spoil yourself, your friends and family or entertain guests or business associates and secure your corporate hospitality seats for next season.

To view packages available ahead of the 2021 season visit www.sharks.com.au/hospitality

 

Congratulations Paul Gallen
He has returned, along with former teammate Luke Lewis, as a member of our coaching staff for 2021, however on behalf of all at Sharks I’d like to congratulate Paul Gallen on his victory over Mark Hunt in their recent boxing match.

Gal delivered a performance which was consistent with the way he played his football for 19 seasons and 348 games at the Sharks in that he was brave, resilient and tough, and when coupled with the boxing skills he has now spent 10 professional fights working on and improving, he was too good for his much larger opponent.

Good luck with your future boxing endeavours Paul and we look forward to seeing you in and around training with the boys in the New Year.

 

Acknowledgment for Robert Milne
The Sharks have had many outstanding contributors over the 50-plus year history of the club, men and women who have paved the way for those of us who have followed, and sadly we lost another of those founding members with the passing of Robert (Bob) Milne.

A man instrumental during the club’s formative years, Bob passed recently, aged 99

A team manager, selector and a part of the Ways and Means committee during his time at the Sharks, while also serving in the old manually operated scoreboard at the southern end of the now-PointsBet Stadium, Milne was one of the last survivors from the original group who helped bring Cronulla from the second division into the top tier NSWRL competition in 1967.

Bob is survived by wife Joy, daughters Lynette, Bronwyn and son Greg, as well as by his many grand and great grandchildren.

The Sharks offer their sincere condolences to Bob’s family and friends.

Bob’s funeral service was held yesterday in Kiama.

 

In closing
On behalf of our Board, Management, staff and players, we wish all our members and fans a very safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

The new season will be upon us before we know it and we hope to count on your continued support in 2021.

Up Up Cronulla

CEO
Dino Mezzatesta