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CEO Update - June 2023

Welcome to the June CEO Update following another busy month in all aspects of our business, both on and off the field.

In a slight change up to the format of this monthly communication, we highlight our Sharks Have Heart community department, the staff who are doing outstanding work and the projects, charities, community organisations and initiatives they support.

We don’t engage with and support the community for publicity or recognition, it is a crucial and important aspect of our business, however I thought it fitting to shine a light on the people who drive our programs and to focus on the work they do.

See following my welcome, Sharks Have Heart staff profiles, a report on the work carried out during June and what they have coming up in the weeks and months ahead.

In other matters, the NRL team is entering a critical point in the season as they push for a top four berth, with other departments working hard to service our football program, members and fans, while Sharks at Kareela continues to offer a first-class licensed facility for our members and their guests to enjoy.

In relation to the NRL team, currently sitting in the top four after a dominant victory in the local derby against the Dragons, the next period of the season will give us an indication as to our prospects for the big games at the back end of the season.

The Sharks v Dragons game was also the start of the NRL’s Beanies for Brain Cancer Round, where the rugby league community comes together in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation and brain cancer research. We unofficially kicked off the campaign when a group from the Sharks joined local identity Glenn Gorrick before sunup on Monday when he started a walk to the SCG for the official launch ceremonies. The official delegation, joined by Nicho Hynes, Toby Rudolf and Tayla Preston representing the Sharks, then walked to the Opera House, with some (not our trio who had games to play!) later heading off to Newcastle to raise funds and awareness to the cause. The week ended when they trekked back from Newcastle to Brookvale Oval on Sunday ahead of the Manly v Roosters game which concluded the round. Mark Hughes Foundation Beanies were also on sale at PointsBet on Thursday night.

Still on football, recently we celebrated 100-game milestones for Blayke Brailey and Briton Nikora and were delighted to retain another two of our young stars with the re-signings of Teig Wilton and newcomer Daniel Atkinson.

Our women are building towards the start of the NRLW season, while we offer our congratulations to Brooke Anderson, Tiana Penitani, Quincy Dodd and Emma Tonegato who were members of the NSW Sky Blues squad during the recent Women’s Origin series.

Congratulations also to the award winners at our Women’s Pathways presentation event. Our Club is in great shape with some outstanding female talent coming through the ranks (CLICK HERE to see all the award winners from the night).

We now look forward to Sunday, July 23 and our first game in the NRLW competition when our girls tackle the Raiders. The second game of a triple header at PointsBet Stadium, with a Jersey Flegg match to kick off the day, then the Sharks v Sea Eagles clash for the Steve Rogers Cup to follow the NRLW match, and it will be an historic occasion for our Club. The day is also the Sharks Members round, where we take the opportunity to thank our loyal membership, who are our most valued customers, for their continued support. And if you haven’t got a membership or a ticket at this point, don’t delay as the game is sure to sell out and it will be a day not to be missed.

While on membership and the NRLW, we are very excited to announce tickets go on sale this week for the first of our standalone PointsBet Stadium NRLW home games.

The Sharks take on the Titans on Saturday, August 5, the Roosters on Sunday, August 13 and the Dragons on Thursday, September 7, with the Members Pre-Sale window tomorrow from 4pm (Tuesday) and the General Public Pre-sale from Wednesday, 4pm.

Prices for Members are just $10 for adults and $20 family (2Adults +2Juniors or 1Adult+ 3Juniors), with the adult non-member price $20, concession $15, $10 for Juniors and $40 for a family ticket.  

Members will be sent an Exclusive Email with all NRLW ticketing information or contact our Membership department at [email protected].

We have also locked in an NRLW trial game against the Tigers to be played at PointsBet on July 8, with more information to become available on Sharks media channels.

It was also great to see our Diamond and Platinum Members enjoying an exclusive VIP event held at the NRL Museum during June (see below a selection of photos from the night) and we have a New Zealand Member event that has been arranged to coincide with the NRL game against the Warriors.

The NZ Member event will be on Saturday, July 15, check email communications or contact Membership for further details, while further special Member events are being planned and will be announced soon, and Members are encouraged to nominate for exclusive Round 21 Member Appreciation Round experiences. CLICK HERE to nominate for one of the special experiences.

Membership planning has commenced for 2024, and we are eager to hear your feedback, ideas and input. Please email us at [email protected], thanks once again to our 2023 members and remember if your details are not up to date, please log-in to your Ticketek profile and update them. CLICK HERE 

From a Commercial standpoint, our sponsor activations have been a highlight of our match days, with one lucky member winning $1,000 at the game against the Dragons in the Southern Comfort Kick 4 Cash. The Madimack Hotseat sees a member win a $100 Sharks Store merchandise voucher at all home games, with the Aramex Special Delivery also offering a unique prize to another lucky member. The winner last Thursday night was a worthy winner, a member who travels from Bathurst to PointsBet Stadium for every Sharks home game.

The NRLW Sharks recently announced Tyrepower as a corporate partner, their branding to appear on the lower back of the playing jerseys (CLICK HERE to read more), with another exciting partner announcement to come in completing the apparel sponsorships.

With an NRLW trial this weekend and the start of the season fast approaching, hospitality packages are now available. CLICK HERE for more information.

As for merchandise, the van will be at CommBank Stadium this Thursday night for the Sharks v Tigers game and check out the new ‘club exclusive’ embossed grey Sharks hoodie – available only from the Sharks on-line store or from the Sharks Shop at Kareela. There are also still limited stocks available of the Sharks Heritage jersey, as worn by the players in the big win in the local derby.

Works continue at 94 Cronulla Street with the fit out of our new Sharks store well underway and the plan is to have the Sharks Store up and running in the coming months. The building at 94 Cronulla Street will also house our Membership department later this year, with administration staff to access and work from the new office space in 2024.  

We will keep Members and fans informed as to a timeline for the Sharks Store opening through Sharks website, social and member communication channels, while in the meantime, the Sharks Store at Kareela will continue to operate. CLICK HERE to purchase Sharks Merchandise on-line or for store opening hours.

While construction continues on the Woolooware Bay Town Centre, however although the build of the overall site is progressing, we continue to work with the developers in attempting to lock down an opening date for our Leagues Club. We will update members once more information becomes available.

And last but by no means least, Sharks at Kareela offers footy food and beverage specials on game days in continuing to be the place to be when the Sharks are away from home, or for the third State of Origin game and for a range of other major sporting events, all shown live on loud on the big screen and on numerous the tv’s throughout the club.

Three weekly Housie sessions are proving popular, as is Super Sunday Housie, so come along and play for the chance to win big cash prizes while at the same time supporting Sutherland Hospital’s Highfield Committee charity.

The first Christmas in July luncheon is this Friday, with another on the 21st of the month, a Mega Meat and Seafood raffle is scheduled for later in July, while The Cove Bar and Grill continues to provide some of the best food offerings in the Sutherland Shire. If you haven’t already, come and enjoy a meal at The Cove, you won’t be disappointed.  And good luck to Gina from The Cove who is again a Finalist for the Perfect Plate Award.

CLICK HERE to see the June/July What’s On guide and visit Sharks at Kareela.

I trust the above has provided a snapshot of business taking place at the Sharks during June and what to look forward to for the weeks ahead, and please take the opportunity to read on for staff profiles and some detail on Sharks Have Heart initiatives and their community engagement.

Thanks again for your continued commitment and support.

Dino Mezzatesta
Sharks CEO

Sharks Have Heart

We firmly believe the Sharks to be the NRL’s premier ‘community club’ with Sharks Have Heart leading the way when it comes to community engagement.

Headed up by Jessica Macartney who is backed by a dedicated team, Sharks Have Heart deliver our own signature programs, support a diverse range of community organisations and initiatives, all whilst utilising the game of rugby league, our Club, and the profile of our NRL and NRLW players to make a real difference in the lives of many.

Our Sharks Have Heart Round when we played the Bulldogs highlighted the great work we do, on an afternoon where we recognised our Shark Crew volunteers and held our Sporting Partner launch (CLICK HERE to read more). Last month the NRLW girls were out and about taking part in a junior league blitz (CLICK HERE to read more) and we continue to recognise a local ‘hero’ each home game as the Volunteer of the Round. (See the Round 14 CLICK HERE and Round 16 CLICK HERE volunteers who sounded the Aramex Shark Alarm in kicking off the respective matches).

Coming up in July is another Shark Tank event, scheduled for July 19 (CLICK HERE for more information or to register an interest to attend), where we encourage prospective volunteers from the community to attend and find out more about providing much-needed support to our sporting and community partners.

Also, this week we will hold our hugely popular school holiday Junior Jaws and Mini Mermaids cheer clinics, alongside our Mega Jaws clinic for children and young people with a disability (For Junior Jaws CLICK HERE, for Mega Jaws CLICK HERE to register)

Shark Have Heart never rests, with hospital and school visits taking place throughout the year, and we continue to deliver the outstanding Sharks Deadly Choices Indigenous Health and education program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across the Shire.

It goes without saying all at Sharks are proud of the enormous contribution Sharks Have Heart makes to our Club and to the community in general.

In further shining a light on our team, see following some brief profiles on our Sharks Have Heart staff.

The Sharks Have Heart team (from left), Emma Tonegato, Jada Taylor, Jess Macartney, Emily Araullo and Rachal Allan
The Sharks Have Heart team (from left), Emma Tonegato, Jada Taylor, Jess Macartney, Emily Araullo and Rachal Allan

Jessica Macartney
Head of Government & Community Relations
Programs that you lead: I oversee the Sharks Have Heart team, strategy and foundation.

Areas of community you specialise in or are passionate about: I am passionate about using sport as a vehicle to create change. I am also passionate about mental health and wellbeing.

Best thing about working in rugby league: Seeing the social impact that the game has off the field. Rugby League has given me so much, so I love to be able to give back to the game that raised me.

Emily Araullo
Community Coordinator
Programs that you lead: Junior Jaws & Mini Mermaids Clinics, Ungah Academy & Sporting Partnerships

Areas of community you specialise in or are passionate about: Grassroots footy. I am passionate about ensuring Cronulla JRL players have the best opportunity to excel on and off the field.

Best thing about working in Rugby League: For me the best thing about working in Rugby League is the buzz and excitement that surrounds not only game day but the work we do in general. Experiencing the rollercoaster ride of a win or a loss ensures no two days are the same, but also builds resilience within the club. Sport, particularly the game of Rugby League, provides the best entertainment and I'm glad we get to utilise it to make a difference in people's lives.

Emma Tonegato
Equal Access Program Lead & NRLW player
Programs that you lead: Mega Jaws and our relationship with NRL Wheelchair

Areas of community you specialise in or are passionate about: Disability participation & inclusion.

Best thing about working in rugby league: The ability to play the game I love and to work behind the scenes to make it accessible to all!

Rachal Allan
Community Engagement Lead
Programs that you lead: Heart to Heart Volunteers program, One Heart anti-racism program for primary schools & From the Heart giving partnerships.

Areas of community you specialise in or are passionate about: I specialise in Indigenous Health and Education and am passionate about the relationship between Rugby League and First Nations communities.

Best thing about working in rugby league: When I was growing up there were not the participation pathways for women and girls that exist now. Working in the game has allowed me to have a meaningful involvement and make a contribution to the game I love.

Jada Taylor
Indigenous Programs Co-ordinator & NRLW Player
Programs that you lead: Sharks Deadly Choices

Areas of community you specialise in or are passionate about:  Indigenous education and primary school’s programs.

Best thing about working in rugby league: The best thing is the people you meet out in the community who share your love for the game. I value the bonds you create with individuals and the community through rugby league.

Sharks Historian Ashley Taylor addressed the members in attendance at the Diamond and Platinum Members events at the NRL Museum
Sharks Historian Ashley Taylor addressed the members in attendance at the Diamond and Platinum Members events at the NRL Museum
NRLW squad members joined the Diamond and Platinum members at the exclusive VIP event at the NRL Museum
NRLW squad members joined the Diamond and Platinum members at the exclusive VIP event at the NRL Museum
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.

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