The Chapman family really appreciates the support the local Junior Rugby League receives from the Sharks Have Heart, both in providing a healthy and fun environment for their boys to experience and a development pathway to the top of the game should they show promise.
David (14) and Aiden (10) have been playing for the Kurnell Stingrays since they were 4 or 5. From the moment they started at Kurnell Primary, visits by Sharks players to the school inspired them. “They love their footy”, says mum Lisa. “They live and breathe it and are massive Sharks fans.
“Playing in a team with their mates is what they most love about Rugby League, but the biggest buzz they get is when they interact with the Sharks NRL players. Since the boys were very young they’ve both been part of the Sharks’ ‘Junior Jaws’ school holiday clinics at which Sharks players spend time passing the ball to them and showing them how to kick. When the boys were older they graduated to the ‘Super Jaws’ program“ They’ve played on Shark Park at half-time in NRL games before tens of thousands of people, which is an amazing experience for them. They’ve had the chance to visit the change rooms and run down the tunnel onto the field. They’ve lined up to Hi-5 the players as they run on before kick-off. These experiences are simply magical for young fans.
“We’ve lived in Kurnell for over 30 years now and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s just such a great place for the boys to grow up. But I remember when I was young, the NRL players were like superstars who you only ever saw from afar. These days they’re not at all removed from the community – they’re part of it
“The Sharks seem to genuinely love their fans and that love is repaid. You see them out and about… whether just having a coffee or shopping… and of course, at the clinics they run, the visits to schools to teach kids about the dangers of bullying and how to handle it and at the big games. It means so much to the boys to get close to their sporting heroes
“We really value the Club’s support of the local Junior League. Quite simply, whenever the Sharks are needed, they’re there.”