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Sharks Have Heart Newsletter – December 2021

Through its community arm Sharks Have Heart, the Sharks help, inspire, engage, educate and advance equality by supporting a variety of community programs, as the club and the NRL playing group have continued with their efforts to engage and make a difference in the community despite the challenges associated with Covid over the past two seasons.

During the most recent period Sharks Have Heart, supported by the NRL playing group, visited community organisations as a part of the Christmas Blitz, two young squad members dropped by the Bates Drives school, while Ronaldo Mulitalo caught up with a special friend.

A winning design was also revealed for the 2022 Sharks Charity Jersey, with sales of the unique jersey now on sale.

See following the Sharks Have Heart newsletter which details those initiatives mentioned above, as well as some of the other recent events and organisations the Club proudly supports.

Sharks Christmas Blitz
The Sharks NRL players dropped by the Skillz4me Christmas event, Civic Disability Services at Caringbah, Sutherland Hospital and The Family Co headquarters in Jannali as a part of the annual Christmas Blitz.

At Civic Nicho Hynes, Blayke Brailey and Ronaldo Mulitalo were amongst a group to interact and spread some Christmas cheer with the workers and staff, at Sutherland Hospital Aiden Tolman, Will Kennedy, newcomer Matt Ikuvalu and a number of teammates visited the wards at Sutherland Hospital, while Family Co ambassador and Sharks skipper Wade Graham was joined by Andrew Fifita, Braden Hamlin-Uele and others at the Family Co’s head office to hand out presents and to spend some time with the kids.

The week prior it was SKillz4Me and their Christmas event, with a number of players again in attendance.

The Christmas Blitz visits were a positive end to a difficult Covid-affected year for Sharks Have Heart and the Club’s community programs, the players enjoying the experience and all concerned embracing the appearance of the Sharks stars at the various venues.

For details and a video of the Civic Disability appearance, go to the link following - CLICK HERE

Sharks Have Heart Charity Jersey unveiled
Members had their say, voting on a winning design for the 2022 Sharks Have Heart Charity jersey.

A jersey featuring the names of those who purchase included in the design, the 2022 Sharks Have Heart Charity Jersey is soon to go into production and is now on sale.

Three potential jerseys were put out to Sharks members and fans, with the most popular design locked in.

The specially designed jersey is for pre-purchase only, at a cost of $260, and as was the case for the 2021 Charity Jersey, only 300 will be produced, with no additional jerseys to be made available for retail sale.

Production will begin once sales have been completed and names included in the design, with jerseys then expected to be received in 8-12 weeks, planned to be well in advance of when the Sharks NRL team will play in the unique jersey design.

To see which jersey design was chosen, or to find out how to purchase, go to the following link - CLICK HERE

Christmas at Skillz
A group of Sharks NRL stars handed out drink bottles and flags, interacted with the children and took part in the games at the recent Skillz4Me Christmas event.

In continuing their support of SKillz4Me, the Sharks Have Heart-backed program for children on the Autism Spectrum or with additional needs, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Jesse Ramien, Jensen Taumoepeau and Franklin Pele, along with newcomers Jayden Berrell and Lachlan Miller got amongst the fun and festivities.

In linking with International Day of People with Disability, the visit was also a part of the Sharks Christmas Blitz.

A program combining sport, fun and therapy, Skillz4Me sessions focus on building confidence, improving social skills, coordination and balance, stimulating neural pathways, eye tracking and concentration, all done in a healthy, safe and friendly environment.

Skillz4Me is a one-hour weekly session running over 40 weeks and attracting 10-30 families each week. The Skillz4Me sessions are at no cost to families.

To read more, or to see a photo gallery from the Skillz Christmas event - CLICK HERE

Bates Drive benefits from two young Sharks
A small school located immediately across the road from the entrance to the Sharks at Kareela Club, Bates Drive Special School caters for students from kindergarten to year 12 with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder and complex health care and behavioural needs, offering an invaluable educational service in the Sutherland Shire.

With a large proportion of students being non-verbal communicators, teaching and learning at Bates Drive School is delivered through a variety of fun individualised, hands-on and multi-sensory approaches, promoting and encouraging communication, community participation, self-help and emotional regulation skills.

In lending a helping hand, two young Sharks squad members in Kayal Iro and Ryan Rivett have been employed at the Bates Drive School as Student Learning Support Officers over the past year, arranged by Sharks Education and Welfare Manager Jeff Robson and endorsed by Bates Drive Principal David Toogood.

When Covid restrictions allowed, Iro working at the school throughout the year, Rivett until a shoulder reconstruction mid-season saw him head home to Queensland to rehabilitate and recover.

The two young Sharks were placed at Bates Drive School by Robson, who through the Club’s Wellbeing and Education program assists the playing group with educational and employment opportunities outside of their regular game and training commitments.  

To read more - CLICK HERE

Ronaldo catches up with a special friend
At their first meeting, young fan Conrad, battling both Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and Fusarium, a potentially fatal fungal disease, was somewhat overwhelmed to be greeted by one his NRL heroes when Ronaldo Mulitalo leaned over the fence following a game against the Eels at Bankwest Stadium.

Young Conrad was in no mood to party that night, however a friendship was born when Mulitalo handed him his match worn jersey.

With his condition improving in the months that followed, Conrad paid a visit to Sharks training, enjoying a day out with the NRL squad then reciprocating in gifting Mulitalo a framed jersey from his junior league club.

Since that time the two have stayed in touch and built up a special relationship, with Ronaldo and Conrad’s family getting together recently at Sharks at Kareela for a pre-Christmas meal and catchup.

Not only was the group treated to a meal courtesy of Sharks at Kareela and the award-winning Cove Bar and Grill, Ronaldo also presented Conrad with a goody bag featuring a signed 2021 Sharks jersey, one he hopes his little mate might wear at a few games next year.

And in making Sharks games more accessible in 2022, Conrad’s family received 2022 memberships via the membership donation scheme.

The special Donation Memberships are generously provided by loyal Sharks Football Club members and are purchased to support Sharks Have Heart program participants.

To read how to donate a membership for the 2022 season or to read more about Ronaldo and Conrad’s special dinner - CLICK HERE