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CEO Update - June 2024

Welcome once again to the CEO Update, this time for the month of June, covering off on the highlights and business conducted for the month just gone. We now look ahead to the back end of the NRL season and also to the start of our second year in the NRLW competition.

In relation to the NRL, June was somewhat stop-start due to the Origin period, with a strong win over the Broncos, before a disappointing two-point loss to the Dolphins, then a round 16 bye, all before the heartbreaking Friday night golden point loss to the Bulldogs.

Despite some inconsistent results during June the team is sitting towards the top of the NRL ladder and we definitely remain positive about our prospects as we begin the run home to the finals.

We head to Coffs Harbour in round 18, then the boys are back at home to play the Tigers on a Friday night at PointsBet Stadium ahead of another bye. If you haven't already, with all but one home game sold out so far in 2024, be sure to secure your tickets well in advance of that game to avoid missing out.

I will do so in person when we venture north in the coming weeks, however I also take this opportunity to thank the Coffs Coast Council and everyone on the NSW north coast who have supported our regional game over the past five years.

Equally exciting as the business end of the year for the NRL team is the kick-off to the NRLW competition, with the Sharks to begin their 2024 campaign with a home game against North Queensland on July 27.

Our NRLW head coach Tony Herman and NRLW & Female Pathway Manager Casey Bromilow have assembled an extremely competitive squad, featuring a number of exciting additions to the 2023 team, with our expectations high for a successful year ahead.

Added to that, our Harvey Norman Women's Premiership team, a squad featuring many now in a position to come through our pathways and to potentially be a part of the NRLW squad in the years to come, begin their season with a game against the Tigers in Concord on the first weekend of July.

It's an exciting time for women's rugby league in general, particularly for us here at the Sharks and we wish both our female teams every success in 2024.

Highlighting player achievements and milestones, and our General Manager of Football Darren Mooney will go into more detail, congratulations to Nicho Hynes and Cam McInnes on their selection and participation in State of Origin game one, while Tiana Penitani and Emma Tonegato were members of all three NSW teams, Ellie Johnston a part of the extended squad, in the just completed Women's Origin series. Well done to all concerned.

In news relating to the Sharks Leagues Club at Woolooware, frustrations continue, with the developers yet to hand over our Club shell to allow us to begin the fit out process. Once that handover has taken place we can progress to starting our build. As always, we will keep you informed and updated as to any developments.

As reported last month, the Golden Bay Chinese restaurant is now open and operating in the Woolooware Bay Town Centre complex and the feedback in regard to the food offerings have been extremely positive. Sharks Members receive a 10 per cent discount on their meals at the Golden Bay and if you have yet to do so, we encourage you to give it a try. Golden Bay is also open and available on game days, please contact them directly to book a table.

Away from our Woolooware base, Sharks at Kareela has continued to be a welcoming home through the cold winter months, with many of our members and fans enjoying the professional and friendly service and the excellent food and beverage selections.

As indicated in the May update, we are moving ever closer to the opening of our new Sharks Store in the Woolooware Bay complex. A store fit out is currently taking place and if all goes to schedule, later in July or in early August all your Sharks merchandise will be available in our new Sharks Store. Keep an eye on Sharks media channels for a grand opening event. In the interim, all Sharks apparel and gear is available online and the Sharks Store at Kareela will continue to operate.

You will also read below the latest update as to community activities during June and what is planned for July, some of our recent marketing initiatives and commercial activities, along with the latest membership news and information.

Please read on as we summarise the month that was, while looking forward with anticipation to what the remainder of 2024 might bring. We appreciate your ongoing support, and hope to see you, either on the road at an away game or at PointsBet Stadium at one of our four remaining home games.

Sharks CEO
Dino Mezzatesta

We are gearing up for the Sutherland 2 Surf on July 21, which raises funds for the Wanda Surf Life Saving Club. If you're participating in the event, keep an eye out for our staff along the way and be sure to say hi.

Remember, our new Plinko Jackpot Promotion gives Members the chance to win a share of up to $7,800 in cash and will be held every Thursday and Sunday night. Simply swipe your membership card for an entry, and three lucky winners will get to play Plinko for a chance to win the jackpot prize of up to $1,000 in cash.

And for our footy fans, we're offering new Sharks NRL and NRLW game day specials, including Crumbed Mini Wings & Mozzarella Stix served with Sriracha dipping sauce. We also have a special Blue Fin Mojito offer where you can purchase a cocktail or mocktail and keep the frosted Sharks logo glass.

In partnership with Asahi, Japan's #1 beer, we're running a promotion to celebrate Japan becoming the top holiday destination for Aussies this summer. Purchase a schooner of Asahi for a chance to win your share of ¥100,000 or $1,000 cash.

As we move into the colder months we have revamped our monthly meat raffles to feature beautiful roast giveaways from local Miranda butcher More than Meat. We will give away meat, lamb, and pork roasts, each paired with your choice of a bottle of red or white Tatachilla wine for the perfect winter warmer feast.

After a few weeks playing away we are excited to be in Coffs Harbour this weekend to see all of our Members and fans on the beautiful Coffs Coast. We are looking forward to being back home at PointsBet Stadium on July 12 against Wests Tigers.

The Aramex Special Delivery continues to deliver for our Members each home game, providing money-can't-buy experiences and gifts. So far this season Aramex have gifted a signed Dale Finucane 250th game jersey, Nicho Hynes' signed 50th Sharks game jersey, Braden Hamlin-Uele's signed boots for his 100th NRL game, a signed Indigenous jersey and Ronaldo Mulitalo's signed 100 NRL games jersey. We have some amazing Special Deliveries planned for our remaining home games. Be sure to visit the Aramex marquee at Coffs Harbour this week to get your free souvenir, not to mention the Aramex Special Delivery at halftime. Will you be the lucky winner selected? The NRL and Telstra will also be providing all fans at the game a chance to have a photo with the NRL premiership trophy – be sure to head to their marquee in the forecourt precinct.

At our upcoming game against the Tigers, Zambrero will be activating in the precinct behind the big screen and also have a fun halftime activation to win a signed Sharks jersey.

Our Sharks partners love to see support from our Members and fans. We have a wide range of businesses that support the Sharks, so please support those that support us!

If you need new tyres or a tyre service look no further than Tyrepower, one of our NRLW Major Partners. Stewart Toyota in Kirrawee provide exceptional service if you are in the market for a new car. Shire Air Conditioning are your air-con experts to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Totally Workwear in Kirrawee have recently opened a new store and can help you with all workwear for the trade and safety industry.

Visit Cronulla Carpets at their showroom in Taren Point for all your flooring needs. Please click here to view all our partners with direct links to their websites.

The corporate marquee has sold out for the season, while the Golden Bay Asian Restaurant is open at Bay Central with views over the playing field. They are offering a VIP dining experience on game days and are also open seven days a week for an exceptional Asian dining experience. Tables are limited, so please don't delay to secure a booking for our next home game. You can visit their website to make a reservation.

We are now beyond the halfway point of the season and proud to say we are 16,451 Members strong! There is only limited time to build on this club record – CLICK HERE for more information on Memberships, starting from only $40, before we go off-sale on July 29 to prepare for the sale of 2025 Memberships.

Also in July, we are expecting ticketing on-sales for the 2024 NRL Grand Final and 2025 NRL in Vegas events. Further information will be available online and via social media as well as important details sent by email.

To ensure you're across our ever-increasing Member benefits, click through to the Member Benefits page from your Member email. In June 2024, there is now an additional benefit of a 10% discount at Golden Bay Restaurant (non-game days) available, simply by showing your Member Card when you dine in.

We launched our 2024 NRLW season tickets last Monday to a great response. Tickets are available for just $15 for adults and $10 for juniors, while full-season Members will receive free entry simply by scanning their Member card. For more information please CLICK HERE.

We also have a number of events approaching that Members should RSVP and look forward to, including our Round 18 Coffs Harbour captain's run, Round 21 Townsville Member Meet & Greet, Round 24 Members' Round extravaganza with an exclusive captain's run opportunity and much more.

The countdown to NRLW season '24 is on, and we cannot wait! Women's rugby league has never been stronger, as shown by the record-breaking three-game 2024 Ampol Women's State Of Origin series which wrapped up last week. Now with less than four weeks until kick-off, our Sharks NRLW team are ready to fire in their second season in the competition.

Last month the team showed up for our official Sharks NRLW content shoot at PointsBet Stadium where their spirited passion and team culture were on show. See below some BTS photos.

Last Saturday the Sharks NRLW squad also presented a special pre-season player signing session at Westfield Miranda. Hundreds of fans, including young families and aspiring female junior rugby league players, met and had photos with their favourite stars, and collected their Sharks NRLW team poster which the players personally autographed. Over the coming month the girls will also be out and about in the community including a Sharks NRLW School Blitz as part of their upbeat season '24 countdown. See below the player signing video

The nine-game NRLW '24 season features four home games at PointsBet Stadium with tickets now on sale. Don't miss your chance to watch our girls live in action and be sure to bring the whole family to cheer them on to victory throughout the season. Secure your tickets here.

After four weeks, our Sharks NRL team are back at home for the Round 19 showdown against the Tigers under lights on Friday July 12, kick off at 8pm. Friday nights are a fan favourite, so we encourage you to secure your tickets before they sell out. Grab your souvenir double-sided Sharks '24 NRL/NRLW team poster as you arrive at the stadium. Click here to book your tickets.

This Friday, July 5, the boys take on the Titans live from Coffs Harbour, so get your friends and family together to make a night of it at our Sharks at Kareela live site with all the action live on the big screens and the best hospitality in the Shire.  

Nicho nominated for Ken Stephen Medal

In recognition of his remarkable off-field work, particularly in the mental health and Indigenous spaces, Nicho Hynes has been nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal and included in the NRL Community Team of the Year.

SCORE Sharks

The SCORE Sharks, in partnership with local disability support group The Disability Trust, goes from strength to strength. We recently hosted our SCORE Sharks participants on PointsBet Stadium and were joined by our neighbouring SCORE Dragons program. It was a fun and action-packed session with participants from both programs coming together for a range of activities and game of footy to finish. Nicho Hynes presented the participants with their very own custom SCORE Sharks playing shirt from Classic.

Heartfelt Moments

In two very special 'Heartfelt Moments', a pair of courageous kids fighting cancer led the team onto the field against the Dolphins while an aspiring referee helped officiate junior games. CLICK HERE to read more.

Beanie for Brain Cancer Round

Also in Round 15, the club threw its support behind the Mark Hughes Foundation and their Beanie for Brain Cancer Round. In the lead up to the game, Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta provided Big Trek participant Glenn Gorick with the match ball to deliver to the stadium for the game.

School programs and holiday clinics

Elsewhere, our range of school-based programs continue to flourish in the local community, with our flagship diversity and anti-racism program One Heart delivered to over 2000 students across 15 different schools so far in 2024.

Reconciliation Week saw NRLW star Rhiannon Byers visit Burraneer Bay Public School to help them launch their new and bespoke Acknowledgment of Country. Indigenous Programs Coordinator Jada Taylor and Community Engagement Manager Luke Koutrodimos also recently attended the La Perouse Wellbeing Expo where they spoke to teachers and students from several schools from the south-east Sydney area about our Deadly Choices programs.

Our new Mega Waves program for school-based students with disability has been met with resounding success and positive feedback from students and parents. Led by Emma Tonegato, the program has been piloted across four high schools and primary schools, with several looking to book this innovative program for the remainder of 2024 as well as 2025.

We have you covered for the upcoming school holidays with a raft of activity for all ages and abilities. Our Junior Jaws and Mini Mermaids programs are filling up and for anyone wanting to try something different we will also be hosting an NRL Wheelchair clinic. For more information and to book your place, CLICK HERE.

The Sharks merch van made the journey up to Brisbane for the Round 14 game against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. Sales were better than expected and we hope to make it an annual trip.

We launched our 1995-inspired heritage design jersey last week. All pre-sale orders have been shipped – hopefully everyone is enjoying their purchase. The jersey is also now available in store, with plenty of stock in men's, youth, ladies and infant sizes.

The fit-out has commenced on the new merch store located in Bay Central Woolooware. At this stage everything is going to plan and we expect an opening date in late July.

There will be several merch activations in Coffs Harbour this week leading up to our game on Friday night. The merch van will be out and about at the below events:

  • Tuesday 2nd July – Kids clinic at Coffs Coast Sport & Leisure Park. Open from 4pm
  • Wednesday 3rd – Coffs City Centre 9am to 2pm
  • Wednesday 3rd – Toormina Gardens shopping centre - 3pm to 5:30pm
  • Thursday 4th – C.ex Coffs International Stadium - Open captain's run - 10am to 1pm.
  • Friday – game day, from gates opening at 4pm.

While June was somewhat of a mixed bag on the NRL front, we remain nicely poised in third position with 10 wins banked as we prepare for the run home.

We kicked off the month with a gritty away victory against the Broncos, followed by an agonising two-point loss to the Dolphins at home after fighting back from 22-0 down.

A bye then came at an opportune time after two five-day turnarounds in three weeks, but the boys unfortunately fell 15-14 to the Bulldogs in golden point when resuming on Friday night.

Ronaldo Mulitalo and Siosifa Talakai became our latest players to reach 100 NRL games in Round 14 and 17 respectively. Congratulations.

We're excited to head to our home away from home on the Coffs Coast this week ahead of a clash with the Titans on Friday evening.

Promising youngsters Kade Dykes and Max Bradbury have unfortunately undergone season-ending knee surgeries. We wish them all the best in their recoveries.

Meanwhile, our NRLW squad are in the middle of pre-season training with under a month until the girls get started against the Cowboys at PointsBet Stadium on July 27. The new recruits have slotted in seamlessly while the returning players are building on their existing combinations.

It was a proud moment for the club as Nicho Hynes and Cameron McInnes represented New South Wales in the opening men's State of Origin match on June 5. While the result went against the Blues in what was Cam's debut, they can both hold their heads high.

NRL assistant coach Josh Hannay has once again been a key part of Queensland's coaching staff. We wish Josh all the best for the decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 17.

In the women's Origin series, Emma Tonegato and Tiana Penitani gave their all for the Sky Blues while Ellie Johnston was a reserve for the three games. New South Wales lost to Queensland in a historic decider, but our girls carried themselves with typical class. Well done.

Further regarding rep honours, we had Michael Gabrael, Tia-Jordyn Vasilovski and Manilita Takapautola picked in the respective men's and women's NSW under 19s Origin teams.

Gabrael played on the wing as the boys secured a 14-10 win at Leichhardt Oval, while Vasilovski and Takapautolo starred in the women's 46-4 demolition of the Maroons. Congratulations.

The Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League National Championships are taking place at Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour over the next two weeks, with a number of young Sharks involved. Good luck.

Our Harvey Norman Women's Premiership side, which will act as a reserve-grade pool for our NRLW squad, will face the Tigers in Round 1 at Concord Oval this Saturday, July 6.

Despite a loss to the Roosters on the weekend, our NSW Cup partner club Newtown have won seven of their past nine matches and sit in fifth place.

The under-21 Jersey Flegg Sharks are building momentum after three wins from their past four games, including an 18-6 victory over the Roosters on the weekend.

And finally, our male and female Winter Academy programs are in full swing as we identify and nurture the next generation of junior Sharks players.

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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