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Club Grants – Sharks at Kareela supporting the local community

Despite enduring the shutdowns and challenges associated with Covid lockdowns, Sharks at Kareela have continued their support of the community through the Club Grants program, donating to The Family Co’s Love Bites Respectful Relationships program, which is delivered in Sutherland Shire high schools.

While the Club’s ability to financially support more programs and projects was limited, with the funding period running from September 1, 2020, until August 31 this year, where at times the doors to Sharks at Kareela were closed due to the Covid restrictions, a $13,000 donation was made to The Family Co for the benefit of supporting Love Bites, in assisting them to continue to deliver the respectful relationship education course in local Sutherland Shire High Schools.

Ashleigh Daines, Chief Executive Officer from the Family Co, was extremely appreciative of the Sharks contribution.

“The funds from the Sharks at Kareela Club Grant enabled us to continue to deliver the Love Bites program, and with additional facilitator resources, we were able to deliver the Love Bites program to more Year 10 students in Sutherland Shire schools,” Ashleigh said. 

“The Love Bites program provides important messaging and education about consent and healthy relationships which are essential to helping young people grow and have respectful relationships,” she added.

Sharks at Kareela General Manager Elie Bassil was pleased to be continuing the support of what is an extremely significant community program.

“Although our doors have been closed for periods throughout the year, impacting our trading and revenue, it was very important to us that we continue our support of Love Bites and The Family Co,” Bassil said.

“They do some wonderful work, with not just with young and school-aged people, but in many areas of our local community and we were committed to continuing our support of them through Club Grants.”

Sharks NRL team captain Wade Graham is an ambassador for Love Bites, which received ‘Highly Commended’ recognition at the 2019 ClubsNSW, Club & Community Awards in the Education category.

Launched in 2011, Love Bites was developed by NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect) and fits comfortably within the Sharks Have Heart social impact pillar.

The program has no ongoing Government funding, relying on community partnerships and due in part to the Sharks Have Heart support, through Sharks at Kareela and Club Grants, numerous Shire High Schools will continue to have access to the program.

Also during recent months Sharks at Kareela actively assisted other significant shire-based initiatives, by providing meals to those in need during lockdown and in continuing its support of the Skillz4Me All Abilities program.

In relation to One Meal, which helps to feed, clothe and support the homeless, disenfranchised, vulnerable and at-risk members of the local community, they enlist the assistance of local organisations to provide their extremely important service.

Lending a hand was Sharks at Kareela and their award-winning restaurant The Cove Bar and Grill, with Gina and her team from The Cove providing 30 complimentary meals over a number of consecutive weeks in an effort to ease the burden on those doing it tough during the difficult times.

While the Sharks support of Skillz4Me also continued towards the end of 2020 with Group CEO Dino Mezzatesta, several NRL squad members, as well as representatives from the Club’s junior representative and women’s teams, attending on Open Day in celebrating International Day of People with a Disability.

Founded by Jason and Sarah Stanton in 2016, Skillz4Me is a not for profit All Abilities Centre that offers opportunities to children with a disability or developmental delay to learn vital social skills in a fun, supportive and inclusive environment.

Like other licensed clubs, the Sharks were severely hampered by COVID and lockdown, with Sharks Have Heart and Sharks at Kareela aiming to expand on the programs supported last year, with a focus on grass roots Sutherland Shire based sporting outfits.

Organisations interested in applying for future Club Grants funding can do so via: