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CEO Update - June 2022

Welcome to the CEO Update for June, an exciting month which saw the continuation of our successful venture into the Coffs Harbour region, we were thrilled to be granted a license to compete in the 2023 NRLW competition and the NRL team managed two wins in succession, now with an eye to some big end of year games ahead.

More detail will follow however I must touch on our game in Coffs Harbour which again proved to be an outstanding event. While the game and beating the Titans was the cream on the top, our engagement with the community throughout the week and the relationships we continue to build, make us confident this will be an extremely successful event for all parties going forward.

In relation to the NRLW, our acceptance for 2023 was the result of a lot of hard work and commitment from many in the Sharks organisation. Much work is now to be done in putting a team on the field next year, but we are excited to have an opportunity to compete in the elite level women’s competition and are looking forward to our NRLW team being the end goal of the pathways programs and women’s teams we already have in place. The future is certainly bright for female athletes and women’s rugby league in the Sutherland Shire.

In a slight tweak to this month’s communication, after a brief update of the Woolooware Bay development project, the various department heads will take over to personally detail what has taken place during June and to preview any new initiatives or projects upcoming.

From Sharks at Kareela, to our Commercial, Membership, Merchandise and Community departments, all have been busy during the past month and are preparing to get even busier as the 2022 NRL season heads into the business end.

Darren Mooney our General Manager of Football also has plenty to report when it comes to our various teams and in relation to some of the behind-the-scenes activity at the three-quarter point in the current season.

In his report, Darren has joined me in congratulating all the Sharks players in both the men’s and women’s teams, as well as our staff who took part in the recent round of representative matches. It was an exciting weekend with all those involved doing the Sharks, themselves and their families proud.

First up I will provide the Woolooware Bay update, then I turn it over to your management team to complete the June Update. We have a capable group leading the way here at the Sharks, all committed to providing the best possible experience for you our members and fans.

I thank you for your ongoing interest and support and hope to see you at PointsBet Stadium for one of our remaining four home games or perhaps enjoying the service and facilities on offer at Sharks at Kareela.

Please read on, with communications with our members is extremely important to us.

Woolooware Bay

Our development partners Aouyan have informed us that Bay Central’s structure is mostly complete, with the construction teams working on concrete pours on the podium level, where each individual building will take shape.

The builders have already started on the formwork for Level 6, which is the first residential level of Building A. 

Services such as electrical, water supply, drainage, fire sprinklers, air-conditioning and exhaust are being installed in the shopping centre and the footprints for each retailer are starting to emerge.

The recent fine weather has helped somewhat in putting the construction timetable back on track as the Sharks work on delivering a Sharks Leagues Club opening mid-2023, to coincide with the completion of the Bay Central residential, hotel and retail precinct.

While on the Woolooware Bay precinct development, if you have come across some recent information regarding the sale of the project from China Aoyuan Group, this is a transaction were they have sold a 49% interest in Aoyuan Property Group Australia (APGA) to entities associated with Adrian Liaw, one of their existing executives and the head of the Australian business. The parties are aiming to complete the disposal by the end of July 2022.

On completion of this transaction, China Aoyuan Group will cease to be a 100% owner of the Australian business and a new joint venture business exists between the Group and new purchasing entities as the 49% shareholder.

The sale will enable the Australian business to forge ahead without being impacted by any liquidity issues currently faced by China Aoyuan Group.

The new entity is in a strong equity position, enabling it to continue operations ‘business as usual’ and complete all projects – including Woolooware Bay Stage 4 - currently owned by APGA, in line with project schedules.

The business will continue to trade as Aoyuan International and may rebrand in the future.

See following the drone shots of the construction taken in late May. Not fresh photos have been made available. 

After 15 weeks straight of the golf course being closed or partially closed due to the long period of wet weather, it was great to see our golfing members and social golfers return to a full 18-hole course in mid-June. 

With our golfers back on the course and in the Club for a drink post-round, when coupled with our Members who continue to patronise our Club, there was an outstanding atmosphere in the Club during June.

From an events point of view, be sure to check out our popular Tribute Show band nights. Our most recent show, the Fleetwood Mac Tribute was a sellout, with tributes to Queen, The Blues Brothers, Joe Cocker, David Bowie and more coming in the weeks and months ahead. Check out our website for dates and details. 

CLICK HERE to access the Sharks at Kareela website. 

The main bar area was full for the first two State of Origin games with the matches playing live and loud on our big screen, so why not join the crowd and get to Sharks at Kareela for the Game 3 decider. Cheer on the Blues with your fellow Sharks and NSW fans and enjoy the game with $5 Beers and 1kg of wings for just $12.

The end of Month raffles have been a big hit, with our first edition on June 29 proving very popular. Our next Mega Raffle is on Wednesday, 27 July, where 40 lucky winners will share in $2,500 of meat and seafood trays.

We would also like to let you know our Functions team are taking plenty of bookings, with dates filling up fast. Book today so as to not miss out for your special day or event, with a range of packages and function rooms available in catering for all needs.

With contemporary rooms overlooking our beautiful golf course, Sharks at Kareela specialise in weddings and wedding receptions, corporate events, celebrations of life, christenings and milestone birthdays. Let our friendly staff take care of you at your next special event.

CLICK HERE to see the Functions page on our website. 

From a commercial perspective our major project during June was the NRL game in Coffs Harbour where we worked closely with the local area council.

Our NRL players, to football, community, marketing staff, my colleagues in the commercial department and the Coffs Coast Council, all came together in going over and above to deliver an exceptional week, then game day experience, one which I’m sure was enjoyed and appreciated by all.

The local and travelling fans displayed their eagerness for this game, as they did in year one of the partnership, with a sold-out crowd of 9,500 attending. Many travelled to Coffs, not only Sharks fans from the Sutherland Shire but from various regional areas, which was also an excellent result for the local community.

As a part of the lead up we conducted a number of successful community activations, in schools, community centres, the local hospital and at a junior league clinic featuring our entire NRL playing group with 180 kids attending.

Our major partners Aramex and Zambrero supported the Coffs Harbour partnership with various activations and giveaways, Aramex supplying team posters and life size player cut outs for the school visits and the junior league clinic, while Zambrero provided lunch at the Key Youth Hub visit, the players and young students enjoying a burrito together, in between shooting a few hoops on the basketball court. 

The 2022 game was the second for us in Coffs Harbour, but the first of a new three-year deal, a partnership which is building and evolving and one the Sharks are excited to continue to drive into the future.

In other partnership news, the Aramex special delivery will continue at our four remaining home games and the Southern Comfort ‘Kick for Cash’ will take place when we play the Dragons in the big local derby match in round 21. Enter through the Southern Comfort Instagram page for a chance to be a part of it.

The Southern Comfort ‘Ultimate Upgrade’ also continues and fans can win tickets via various suppliers of the product, and more Zambrero free burrito vouchers will be given away at our PointsBet Stadium games.

Corporate hospitality is sold out for our remaining home games, and I’m sure James in Membership and Ticketing will touch on it, but with interest high and the Sharks tracking well towards earning a berth in the finals, be sure to get in early to secure a ticket to our remaining games.

Being relatively new to the role of Membership, Ticketing & Fan Engagement Manager, this is my first real opportunity to thank our loyal Sharks members for welcoming me to the Sharks ‘family’ and for your enthusiastic support this season. 

With some blockbuster Saturday afternoon and evening matches still to play at PointsBet Stadium, if not a 2022 Sharks member, it’s not too late to become a Flexi 3 Member, which can guarantee you a ticket to a game this season. It becomes even more important to become a member when considering the multiple sell outs so far this year.

If you can’t attend matches, you can still show your support with a Shark Starter, Shark Net Membership or a Reefy Junior Membership for the kids.

See sharks.com.au/membership for details.

Following on from Rebecca and her commercial update, on behalf of the membership department we offer a special thank you to our Coffs Harbour members and those members who travelled to the match against the Titans and the Members only training session. Your enthusiastic support made for a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

The match was a sell-out, we had over 200 members attend the Captain’s Run training event and the City of Coffs Harbour came alive as we continue to make it our home away from home.  

Congratulations to Paul Steele, a Queensland Country & Interstate member, who was the Aramex Special Delivery recipient for the match, his prize hand delivered in spectacular fashion by our game day skydiver.

Further to this membership report, I would encourage our current members to please update your details.

If your address or contact details have changed, please ensure to update as soon as possible. As we progress through the season and leading into the Membership renewal period, vital information will be sent to Members and it is important you receive all correspondence.

Those needing to update details, log in at sharks.com.au/membership or contact the membership department.

While in relation to 2023 Memberships, the team has begun planning for next year. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact us by emailing [email protected]. We can’t wait to finalise and share our 2023 membership program, one that offers even more choice and flexibility.

Thanks again for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our remaining PointsBet Stadium games this season.

Having started at the Sharks back in Round Two as the Head of Community & Government Relations, it has been an exciting first few months. I’m proud and privileged to be leading Sharks Have Heart and to be helping to drive the outstanding programs and initiatives we have in place.

Other department managers have mentioned our week in Coffs Harbour and similarly it was an extremely positive experience for our Sharks Have Heart team and for those we engaged with in the local community.

While in Coffs, we had Nicho Hynes, Siosifa Talakai and Cameron McInnes drop into the local hospital, a group visited Key Youth Hub and players delivered the NRL’s Inspire program at a number of local schools.

In partnership with Coffs area NRL Development Officers we conducted a Junior clinic with the entire NRL squad in attendance, catering for around 180 boys and girls from local junior league clubs.

Through all the activities, the players were wonderful role models representing the Sharks and the NRL.

Our Sharks Digital Media team was in Coffs Harbour capturing some of what went on. In case you missed them earlier, see the links below for two video content pieces.

Coffs Harbour community visits
Hospital visit - CLICK HERE
Coffs Coast JRL Clinic - CLICK HERE 

Back home a group of our young NRL squad members visited Bates Drive school, which was another extremely successful exercise (CLICK HERE to see a Sharks video content piece) and myself, Rachal our Indigenous Programs Coordinator, and Lauren the Sharks Stadium Operations Coordinator, presented to students from  Syracuse University as a part of a sports tour of PointsBet Stadium.

Syracuse University are regular visitors to Australia and we are always pleased host them and share the good things we are doing at the Sharks.

Coming up we have the School Holiday Clinics, which are completely sold out for July. It’s great to see so many junior players and Sharks fans keen to participate, with the message being to look out for the marketing promotions for the October holiday clinics, where we again have big plans. If you missed out this time, book your place early for the next school holiday clinics to avoid disappointment.

Sharks Have Heart have completed the review of our current strategy and will continue to engage with our players, members, and community in shaping our programs for 2023 and beyond.

During the month of June, myself and John my willing helper made the trip to Coffs Harbour with the Sharks Merchandise van and we are pleased we did.

The Coffs Harbour game saw us record our second biggest game day sales for the year, as the local members and fans embraced and supported the Sharks in snapping up plenty of merchandise. 

While they were quick to take advantage of the bargains and new stock on offer, there is now plenty more winter stock available. Men’s sizing has arrived in the Quarter Zip Hoodie, Anthem Jacket and Wet Weather Jacket however this will be our last shipment of winter items for the year so don’t hesitate and purchase now.

Look out for a new club hoodie, a Sharks Store exclusive set to be released online soon, stock is available in Men’s and Youth sizes, with additional ANZAC Jerseys having arrived. They are now in store and are selling fast, so be quick to avoid disappointment.

We also have additional stock of the Home Jersey in Men’s and Kids sizes due to land in mid/late July. 

The NRL team won’t play in it until round 25, however the Sharks Have Heart Charity Jerseys have arrived and are in the process of being shipped to customers this week. Thanks to those who have supported this initiative, with the jersey featuring the names of all to have purchased included the striking design.

Pay us a visit from Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 2pm, in the Sharks Store at Sharks at Kareela. We are also open Saturdays from 10am to 2pm but these hours are subject to change without prior notice. Otherwise, go online at www.sharksstore.com.au to purchase or order your Sharks merchandise. 

Two wins, added to a bye week and the representative round, resulted in the month of June being a positive one for the NRL squad as we moved into the top four.

It was also a period of travel for the NRL team, with games in Redcliffe, then Coffs Harbour where we spent a week training, preparing for the game against the Titans and engaging with the North Coast community.

The Coffs camp was enjoyed by all, with the team embracing the chance to interact with the local community through the various activities organised by our Sharks Have Heart team. 

Two of our senior players in Dale Finucane and Wade Graham returned from injury, Dale in Coffs and Wade the week before against the Warriors in Redcliffe, and we can report Braden Hamlin-Uele is on the road to recovery following his pectoral tear. Braden is back training with the full-time squad and looking forward to getting on the field in the run home to the finals.

In relation to player milestones, we celebrated Nicho Hynes’ 50th NRL game in the win over the Titans. 

Coming up we face the Bulldogs, who have found some form in recent weeks, before playing the three teams ahead of us on the ladder in the Storm, Cowboys and Panthers, with the next month to give us a good indication of where we stand in comparison to the leading teams.

Away from the NRL, the Jets are fourth, our Jersey Flegg boys fifth, with the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership team preparing for a crucial game this weekend, where a win will see them qualify for the competition Finals.

While on Women’s rugby league, after our successful application to join the NRLW in 2023, planning has already begun as we look to put the right structures in place. We have a massive job ahead, but it is one as a club we are extremely excited about.

In other matters, congratulations to the many representative players involved in the various games last week.

Sifa Talakai made a well-deserved State of Origin debut in the big NSW win in game two, while Nicho Hynes was again 18th man for the Blues. 

The Sharks also had strong representation in the Pacific Tests, Ronaldo Mulitalo and Briton Nikora were members of the successful Kiwi team and Sione Katoa was extremely proud to play his first game for Tonga. Kayal Iro, who is training with our fulltime NRL squad, was amongst the best for the Cooks Islands in their match against Samoa.

Two of our coaching staff were also involved, Steve Price assisting head coach Michael Maguire with the New Zealand team and Josh Hannay is now one win and one loss in the 2022 Origin series as assistant coach of the Queensland side.

In the women’s Origin Tiana Penitani and Quincy Dodd played their part in the NSW victory over Queensland, with Sam Bremner, Talei Holmes, Corban Baxter and Teagan Berry members of the extended Sky Blues squad.

In the women’s 19’s Origin game Andie Robinson was one of the stars of the NSW win, scoring three tries, with her Cronulla teammates Reuben Cherrington and Monalisa Soliola performing strongly on the night. (CLICK HERE to see our match report on the Under 19’s Women’s Origin)

Tegan Dymock and Natasha Penitani represented the Tongan women’s team in the match with New Zealand.

Again, well done to all who played their part in what was an entertaining weekend of rugby league. 

Congratulations are also to young forward Jesse Colquhoun who has signed a two-year contract extension and will join the Sharks NRL squad in 2023. Jesse is just 20 years of age, is a player of immense promise, works extremely hard and is well deserving of this opportunity. We look forward to following his progress over the next few seasons.
(CLICK HERE for a Sharks Media interview with Jesse)

As we continue to build our squad for 2023, we hope to have more signing news to report in the very near future.

From a junior development perspective, our Head of Pathways Glenn Brailey has assembled an Elite Academy squad, where the best of our talented juniors will be undergo a strength and skills program and we have already kicked off our winter academy in under 14’s, 15’s, 16’s and 18’s.

Further to that, our leading players from the just completed Junior Representative season were recognised at the annual presentation night. Chevy Stewart was named Junior Rep player of the year, his name going on the prestigious Greg Pierce Trophy alongside the likes of Blayke Brailey, Connor Tracey and Chad Townsend, with Max McCarthy (Matthews Cup), Chaz Jarvis and Lachlan Crouch (SG Ball) also taking home awards for their outstanding efforts throughout the season.
(CLICK HERE for more detail around the Junior Rep Presentation Night)

A number of our junior rep and academy boys will be involved in the National Schoolboys Carnival, to be played in Redcliffe in Queensland and featuring under 15’s and Open Age. The carnival kicks off on July 2 and runs through until July 8 and we congratulate the young Sharks players selected and wish them well in the games next week.

And coming up is the Lisa Fiaola Cup, with the Sharks fielding an under-17’s girls’ team to compete in the upcoming Gala Day on Wednesday, July 6, which will be the first experience of elite level rugby league for many of these young women. (CLICK HERE to see our Lisa Fiaola squad list)

Last but by no means least, the NRL squad recently raised $30,000 by auctioning their match worn Anzac Jerseys. The funds will be donated to Nathan Stapleton and his family to assist in his recovery and rehabilitation following his tragic spinal injury suffered playing rugby union. We will continue to support Nathan and his family who have a long road ahead of them.

 

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.