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This week marks Sharks Have Heart Round, a celebration of the club's substantial community impact culminating in activations at Sunday's NRL clash against the Cowboys at PointsBet Stadium.

Regarded as the 'Community Club', the Sharks strive year-round to create meaningful change with inclusivity, equality, health and education front of mind.

Sharks Head of Community and Government Relations Vinh Tran explained: "Our primary role is how the club and the players engage with our local community."

"We deliver a wide range of programs to benefit our community through social impact," Tran continued. "Our NRL and NRLW players play an integral role in spreading the positive messages of our community programs."

Coinciding with the start of school holidays, the Sharks will engage the community with Junior Jaws (football) and Mini Mermaids (cheerleading) clinics at the stadium on Thursday, followed by a Mega Jaws kids disability skills session on Friday.

Sunday's bumper game day will include heart-warming initiatives such as Sharks Charity Partner Relay for Life manning a marquee, staging a lap of honour and entering a team in a half-time junior rugby league relay sponsored by Quest.

The pre-game entertainment will also feature 'Tiny Tots' junior players, aged 3-5, on the field, a dance performance by adults with disability from Stellar Experiences alongside the Minespec Mermaids, as well as a 'Heartfelt Moment' with a nine-year-old supporter battling cancer watching the team warm up from close range.

A proud Wiradjuri boy from Miranda North Public School will have the honour of sounding the Shark Alarm as the players run out, while Sharks NRL Wheelchair captain Liam Luff is set to present the official match ball.

The Sharks Have Heart Foundation will be the 50-50 Charity Raffle partner, with funds raised supporting the club's dedicated social impact programs, including:

  • One Heart, an anti-racism presentation for primary school students.
  • Mega Jaws, Mega Waves and Score Sharks, aimed at ensuring rugby league is accessible for kids and adults with disability.
  • Deadly Choices, empowering Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander students to make healthy choices and better prevent/manage chronic disease.

The club also regularly arranges unforgettable 'Heartfelt Moments' to uplift community members facing adversity, often organising access to the players.

Other initiatives include choosing four charities, not-for-profits and/or community organisations which share the Sharks' values to become 'From the Heart Charity Partners' every season, each gaining the opportunity to broaden their reach.

Elsewhere, Sharks Have Heart support the Cronulla Junior Rugby League and other sporting partners to ensure the game is thriving at a local grassroots level.

Sharks Community Engagement Manager Luke Koutrodimos said: "In this role, I'm most proud of the positive impact that our programs give to those who participate.

"The vision for Sharks Have Heart is to be the leading club in the NRL where we engage through key programs in our community that actually make a difference."

NRLW stars Emma Tonegato and Jada Taylor balance their playing duties with their other passion: helping people through Sharks Have Heart.

Tonegato is the Equal Access Program Lead, heading up Mega Jaws and other all-abilities initiatives, while Taylor takes charge as Indigenous Programs Coordinator.

"My role entails bringing the game of rugby league to all in a fun and inclusive manner and ensuring that everybody is provided with an opportunity to engage with rugby league," Jillaroos representative Tonegato explained.

"I love this job, I love seeing people's faces when they engage in our activities and programs and I love seeing the impact we can have on someone's life."

Taylor added: "I'm really lucky that I get to have a dual role for the club and they look after both things I'm passionate about, especially off-field – looking after mob and making sure they make deadly choices.

"I deliver the Deadly Choices programs in schools, looking after healthy lifestyles and making sure that we're making a difference to Indigenous communities."

The NRL and NRLW squads are vital to Sharks Have Heart's influence, imparting important messages and boosting spirits at clinics, school visits and promotions.

CLICK HERE for a detailed look at Sharks Have Heart's programs and policies.

"At Sharks Have Heart, we want to create meaningful change – lasting social change – with our fans, Members and everyone in the Sharks family," Tran said.

"If you want to support Sharks Have Heart and keep our wonderful programs running in the local community, you can donate through our Sharks Have Heart Foundation." CLICK HERE to make a tax-deductible donation ($2+).

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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