What this means to the Sharks Family

Paul Gallen

Club Captain

“This is why I love the Sharks. Our new Centre of Excellence is a great initiative – a sporting, education AND community hub for everyone!”

“This will help to secure the Club’s long-term future, both on the field and away from football. Through the generosity of our donors, our members, our community and our commercial partners, we’ll be able to further invest in the Four Pillars of our Foundation – Building Healthy Communities; Developing People; Elite Performance and Sustained On-Field Success; and those issues closest to our Heart.

“We will be the difference in our community.”

Lyall Gorman

Group CEO

“Our new Centre of Excellence will take our Club to a whole new level across every facet of our business, shaping and changing our future forever.

“Our Club is and must be more than just a Football Club. If our Grand Final victory last year showed me one thing above all else, it’s just how important we are to so many people. The passion and sheer joy when Gal held the trophy high was incredible and brought tears to the eyes of so many of us. And in many ways, it reached way beyond the game of Rugby League.

“It made me appreciate and value the fact that our Club never stops representing and contributing to our community, even well after each match day finishes.  It confirmed to me more than ever that it’s the wonderful people in our community who give us life and without that community, without our fans, without our Sharks Family, we simply can’t exist.

“That’s why in this, our 50th Anniversary year, we are taking steps to ensure we continue to grow. Right now, we’re raising funds through our Foundation, ‘Sharks Have Heart’, to create something beyond football – a place of inspiration that will become the very hub of everything we do.

“Our Centre of Excellence will not only be a high-performance facility for our beloved Sharks players as well as elite and emerging athletes across all sports… but the ‘C’ and ‘E’ will also stand for Community Engagement… for Connecting Everyone – men and women, boys and girls, athletes with a disability, our indigenous community, the financially disadvantaged and more.

“And it will also house our newly formed Sutherland Shire Drug and Alcohol Reduction Program to collaboratively and strategically tackle this critical and escalating issue across our community. This initiative will shape lives for the better and help people from all walks of life – every individual who touches or is touched by our Club – to grow, develop and fulfil their potential… it will be a true Centre of Excellence that will ensure a success-filled future.

“Your support will make sure that we not only develop great footballers, but also great people.”

Mick Ennis

Recently retired Grand Final Winner

“I came to the Club at a reasonably difficult time. They’d had a tough season the year before. But I just remember the welcoming atmosphere when I arrived… everyone involved with the Club from top to bottom was proud of their Team, positive about the future and wanted me to feel the same way.

“Winning the Premiership last year was just incredible. Of all the clubs at which I played, this was the perfect place to win one. It was the Sharks’ first ever premiership and mine too. When I first arrived, I remember how everyone in the district, from the old guys at South Cronulla Beach to the mums in the shopping centres, had a story about supporting the Sharks for decades through the near misses and tough times. It was a bloody nice feeling to be able to bring them success.

“The new Centre of Excellence will bring the Sharks to the centre of our community and help people from all walks of life to achieve their dreams.”

Mollie Gray

Cronulla Sharks Women’s Team

“From the moment I came to the Sharks, I felt accepted as part of the Family. Everyone was so welcoming and they involved me in so many ways, right from the start.

“I love the fact that everyone here is so passionate about helping us as players to better ourselves both on and off the field. And something that appeals greatly to me is the Club’s stance against bullying in all its forms. I was actually bullied myself in the army and I know it can have lifelong ramifications. So I think it’s great that the new Sharks Centre of Excellence will be a place where young people will be educated about some of the important facets of life – like bullying, drugs and alcohol.”

Luke Metcalf

Under 18 – one of our Club’s brightest young prospects

“I love being with the Sharks. This new Centre will attract and provide a development pathway for talented kids, whether locals or those like me from the Bush. They’ll learn heaps from having so many good people around them – not only about footy, but also nutrition, drugs and alcohol, even how to save money!

“I love the fact that the Centre of Excellence will provide opportunities for everyone and mean that we’re all on a level playing field. Whatever your socio-economic background, whether you’re a talented indigenous player, one of the many women now playing our game, a player with a disability… this will be a home without boundaries – a ‘non-elitist’ place for us to learn, grow and fulfil our potential.

“I’ve always had the dream to be an elite player. This Centre will help me and plenty of others to achieve that dream.”

Matt Collins

Shark Buddies Program

“People with disabilities are as passionate about their footy as anyone, but they’re normally unable to experience the buzz of live sport at the highest level. The Club welcomed the concept of Shark Buddies and we must be a good luck charm as so far we’ve attended three matches and the Sharks have won them all!

“I believe the Club is leading the way when it comes to changing attitudes towards people with disabilities. The new Centre of Excellence is a great example. It will cater for disabled as well as elite athletes, giving all sorts of people a sense of belonging and providing them with the chance to follow their passions.”

Valentine Holmes

21 year old Grand Final Winner

“The Sharks gave me an opportunity that I’m very grateful for. I’m not even 22 yet and because of this Club, I’ve already won a premiership and played for Australia! I love the way the locals come up to me in a café, or a shopping centre or at the beach and say g’day and wish me and the Team well. This place is just like home for me now. I never want to leave.

“The new Centre of Excellence sounds like it will be great for the Club. It will help everyone – the NRL Team, the Women’s Team, development players and the wider community too. At the moment we have a ‘Little Sharks Academy’ and the new Centre will now provide a pathway to the top for these kids. I think it will give the Sharks the best possible chance of repeating our 2016 success.”