Score Sharks

Score Sharks rookies sink their teeth into rugby league

If the success of the recent Come and Try Day is anything to go by, the Score Sharks program is set to be kicking plenty of goals.

Budding rugby league players came from far and wide to Shark Park for the introductory session to the program with one participant travelling all the way from Taree, a four-hour drive from Cronulla.

More than 40 people turned up to try their hand at rugby league under the guidance of Cronulla’s Equal Access Program Lead Emma Tonegato, along with her NRLW teammates Jada Taylor and Quincy Dodd, and NRL players Tom Hazelton, Dan Atkinson and Max Bradbury.

The rookies were put through their paces at the training session with many of the players signing up for the 10-week program which kicks off on 1 May at Sutherland Oval.

They listened to stories from the Sharks players about being in the NRL and NRLW, and they completed tackling and passing drills to learn how to play a modified version of rugby league.

The Score Sharks squad will train each Wednesday from 4:15pm-5:45pm with the goal of playing a game later in the year, perhaps as a curtain-raiser to an NRL match as the Score Dragons and Score Raiders have done in recent years.

Emma, who has played for the Sky Blues in State of Origin and the Jillaroos in Test matches and won an Olympic gold medal with Australia’s rugby sevens team in 2016, said the Sharks were thrilled to partner with The Disability Trust for this initiative.

“We’re so excited to launch our new all abilities team, Score Sharks,” she said.

“We had a great turnout at the Come and Try event and are hoping to turn the amazing attendance into a fun and supportive team.

“All the participants had a ball and we expect they’ll thrive in a team environment. We can’t wait for the program to continue to build and would love to see a game against the Score Dragons or Score Raiders eventuate, offering participants the chance to play as a Cronulla Shark.

“We are looking forward to partnering with such a well established and successful company in The Disability Trust, working together and building the program over time.”

The Disability Trust Sport & Recreation Officer Elizabeth Evangelou said quite a few players travelled from all points of the compass in Sydney and beyond.

Score Sharks

“The Come and Try Day was great, it definitely exceeded my expectations with the amount of people who turned up,” she said.

“Clients came from all over the place and brought friends, and friends of friends. It’s a really well connected community from all over the place so it was great to see that community spirit.

“There was a great energy. It was appropriate for all abilities, a couple of the participants in wheelchairs had the ball passed to them, it was very inclusive.

“The collaboration between The Disability Trust and the Sharks team should work well. The Sharks have got so many fans in the Sutherland Shire.

“It’s about having sportsmanship and having fun. That’s the way that we want it to be for the clients – there’ll be a bit of competition but it’s a fun way to be physically active in the outdoors, which is great.”

Emma and other Sharks players will help run the program each week alongside the Score Sharks program facilitator Michael Edwards.

Participants must be at least 16 years old and have NDIS funding to enrol for the Score Sharks program.

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