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Andrew Fifita with two youngsters involved in the Sharks Deadly Choices program

One program promoting Indigenous health in the Sutherland Shire and another offering a fun, safe and enjoyable environment for young people with a disability, both supported with resourcing and funding by Sharks at Heart and Sharks at Kareela, have been nominated for prestigious ClubsNSW Awards.  

The Sharks Deadly Choices initiative, which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to make healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and their families, and Mega Jaws, a program allowing youngsters with a disability to take part in fun, rugby league themed activities, are nominated amongst many worthwhile activities instigated by metropolitan and regional clubs for the betterment of their communities, with the awards recognising excellence in various categories.

The awards presentation event will be held at the ICC on May 26, with representatives from the Sharks, as well as the respective programs to be in attendance.

The two nominated programs will be looking to emulate the success of the Sharks supported Make Bullying History Initiative, which won in the Health & Wellbeing Category in 2018, while Love Bites, a Sutherland Shire schools program was Highly Commended at the 2019 awards event for its achievements in the area of education.

Sharks General Manager Community, People & Culture George Nour, was proud of the support the Club was able to provide programs such as the two nominated for the ClubsNSW Awards.

“Recognising Deadly Choices and Mega Jaws earning award nominations is a great endorsement for not only the two programs, but also for Sharks Have Heart, the community initiatives we support and the funding we make available through Sharks at Kareela,” Nour said.

“They are both outstanding programs, targeting different areas of the community, and both have a significant impact with what they are able to achieve,” he added.

The Sharks Deadly Choices program, which is overseen by Rachal Allan as a dedicated Indigenous Programs Coordinator, has made positive inroads in the indigenous health space since its inception in 2019.

With a core purpose to promote healthy eating, more exercise and to manage chronic disease, in helping ‘close the gap’ in Indigenous health, Sharks Deadly Choices encourages indigenous people to attend the local Community Controlled Health Service and to complete an annual ‘Health Check’.

“Over 250 health checks resulted from the program in 2021, despite extreme lockdowns, with 90% of these people completing a 715 Health Check for the first time in their lives and accrediting it to building a relationship with the Sharks staff, giving them confidence and familiarity with the process,” Ms Allan explained.

The Sharks Deadly Choices program has been nominated alongside 11 other clubs in the Healthcare category.

As a nominated program in Mental and Social Wellbeing, Mega Jaws, was started with the objective being to engage families with children with disability by creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for them to enjoy their Club and their team, the Cronulla Sharks.

Mega Jaws, developed internally at the Sharks and fully funded, staffed and organised by Sharks Have Heart, involves offering free clinics for children and young adults with disability in providing the opportunity to experience a fun and memorable time at PointsBet Stadium the home of the Sharks, surrounded by qualified facilitators, NRL players and the team mascot.

Founded in 2017, Maga Jaws is delivered in alignment with the school holiday calendar, with four clinics delivered each year. Originally focused on children with disability, Maga Jaws has since grown to also include sessions for adults with disability.

Sydney metropolitan clubs, along with regional venues as far away as Lightning Ridge, are amongst 24 nominees for the ClubsNSW awards in the Mental and Social Wellbeing category.

See below nominated community programs and initiatives in the Healthcare and Mental and Social Wellbeing categories.

Armidale City Bowling Club
Growing Rural Kidney Services in NSW

Ballina RSL
Healthy Hospo Hearts

Blacktown Workers Club
From Club to Vaccination Hub

Club Central Menai
We PINK We Can

Crookwell Golf Club
72-Hole Challenge in Crookwell — A Huge Hit!

DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club
Safeguarding the Little Minds of the Future

Macksville Ex Services Club
We Delivered During the Pandemic

Maclean & District Bowling Club
Maclean Hospital Auxiliary Revival

GP Clinics — Caring for Our Community

Parra Leagues
Parra Leagues Kitchen Initiative

Sharks Leagues Club – Sharks at Kareela
Sharks Making Deadly Choices

Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club
A Club’s Pledge to the Adam Gardiner Fund


Mental & Social Wellbeing
Bankstown Sports Club
Wellbeing Turns Virtual as Staff Go Digital to Connect

Blacktown Workers Club
Acting Against the Rise!

C.ex Coffs
Sleeping Out on the Coffs Coast

Canterbury League Club
One Community Christmas 2021

Central Coast Leagues Club
All in this Together

Cessnock Leagues Club
International Women’s Day Event a First for the Cessnock Community

Club Central Menai
Giving Back to First Responders

Club Taree
Club Taree Mental Health Challenge Scholarship Program

Coogee Diggers
Supporting Younger Veterans

Corowa RSL
Staff Health & Wellbeing is Our First Priority

Dee Why RSL
I Belong. I’m Heard.

DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club
Empowered Women Empower Women

Gosford RSL
We’re Here & We Care

Lightning Ridge Bowls Club
Orphan’s Christmas in the Floods

Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club
Protecting Mental Health & Wellbeing

Moorebank Sports Club
Sporties & Sonder Deliver Innovation in Mental Health Care

Achieving Goals with Bowls

Panthers Penrith Leagues Club
Panthers on the Prowl — Building Young Men

Queanbeyan Tigers
Australian Rules Football Club Tigers are Serving up Happiness

Sharks Leagues Club – Sharks at Kareela
Making a Difference with ‘Mega Jaws’

South Tamworth Bowling Club
South Bowlo Social & Disability Bowls

Collaborating for Food Relief - Wellbeing for All

Wenty Leagues
Smiles, Helping Hands & Warming Hearts - UNSTOPPABLE Kids

Wests Ashfield Leagues
The Essential Ingredient

Ronaldo Mulitalo with one of the participants in the Sharks Mega Jaws program
Ronaldo Mulitalo with one of the participants in the Sharks Mega Jaws program
Andrew Fifita with two youngsters involved in the Sharks Deadly Choices program
Andrew Fifita with two youngsters involved in the Sharks Deadly Choices program
Brett Murray from Make Bullying History
Brett Murray from Make Bullying History


Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.