It gives me great pleasure to present my report on behalf of the members of Rockingham Sharks Rugby League Football Club for season 2018.
It was a privilege and an honour to serve this great Club as your president. What a challenging journey it has been.
We have fielded four senior teams this season, First Grade, Reserve Grade, Val Murphy Third Grade and Womens flag football.
Whilst we didn’t taste first grade premiership success, It was fantastic to see our Third Grade team win the flag. Congratulations to coach Matty Pora and his team and staff on a wonderful achievement.
I would like to take a minute to briefly reflect on the achievements you have all contributed to during the year:
The Club Culture:
Our motto of strong family values amongst the membership, our community spirit, on-field successes and our continued efforts to make us proud of who we are and the facilities we offer both to the footballers and the wider community. This is a large focus point from the executive and I would like to build on that in 2019. As a new president, I have witnessed some ‘issues’, many with historical links, but I believe it is important we continue to focus on club and family overcome our differences and move into a new season as one.
A big thank you to everyone who pulled on the Sharks jumper – from our seniors and ladies to our juniors and down to our ‘littlies’ just starting out on their rugby league careers.
We experienced a number of key injuries earlier in the season, which did not help but we pulled together and it was good to see firsts, reserves and Thirds all make finals, with of course Thirds winning the flag.
Our women’s team, despite some early setbacks, rallied and I would like to think 2019 will be their year – the growth in women’s football is something the NRL is keen to see developed and I would encourage the ladies to come forward with ideas to help that growth.
I would like to thank Club Captain, Reece Potter for his leadership and commitment to the club during this season, especially after sustaining a season-ending injury. So thanks also goes to Andrew Jeffrey for his on field leadership as Reece helped from the sidelines.
The Coaching Staff:
My thanks go to all the coaches during 2018; Darren Shaw, Dave Tito, Matty Pora, our wonderful ladies coaching team, to junior coaching co-ordinator Ian Prout, under-18s coach Brett McMillan and every junior coach at the club for their sterling efforts.
We had on staff a terrific team of dedicated and hardworking members who all contributed to our success both on and off the field this season. The calibre of coaching, training and first aid staff was first rate and their enthusiasm showed in their team’s performances.
Darren said his good-byes at season end, and we wish him and his family well.
I would also like to place on record my thanks to first team manager Harry Brankstone for his efforts over many, many years in so many roles.
2019 will see a new coaching team and I can assure all members I and the committee will support them 100 percent in their efforts.
Secretarial – Michelle Shatte has proved to be a fantastic acquisition in the role and has enabled us to function so well administratively. Our junior rego numbers in 2018 were very good, after a shaky start – in excess of 350. I would like to think we can see those numbers again in 2019.
With those numbers comes a lot of issues, teams, age groups, coaches and volunteers, and finding the space for all our youngsters to train and play.
Add in our ongoing relationships with Rockingham City Council, which at times can be challenging, and you can see the sort of work Michelle and many volunteers around her achieved. Thank you.
Treasurer – Joanne Prout took on one hell of a challenge when she put her hand up for the finance director role. Trying to manage a club of this size, with so many different facets, is a tough call.
But Jo stuck to it and I thank her most sincerely for all her work – and her work with junior football in the absence of separate juniors director.
When funds were needed for junior equipment, she found it. For the record, the club spent about $15,000 upgrading juniors uniforms in 2018, a major feat. We hope to continue that work in 2019.
Managing bar and canteen takings, fundraising, senior football payments, councils and their ever growing list of requirements and costs.
A massive effort – thank you Jo.
* The Treasurer will table a financial report separately.
Marketing – Dale Christy stepped down as chair last year, but still volunteered to help out in 2018, despite other family commitments. Managing all our playing equipment requirements with Struddys and bringing in much needed sponsorship monies, as well as being here to be the go-to man whenever the TV didn’t work or the coolroom wasn’t working. Thank you Dale.
Seniors Director – Dave Tito combined the role with that of reserves coach, no easy dual task. Often the go-between for players to the committee or vice versa when we were trying to organise functions etc. Dave was always there to help in so many ways, way beyond his remit. I wish him (and Pumps) well in their new roles as Senior football head coaches.
Without the significant contribution from club volunteers the club would fail to maintain the success that is highly sought after by opposing clubs. We acknowledge and thank the many volunteers, parents, coaches and players who contribute time to assist in the running of this mighty Club. We are always looking for more helpers so please don’t hesitate to jump in and assist.
One of our main areas to assist our club financially is through our great canteen and I would like to say a very big thank you all the ladies who worked tirelessly to ensure our canteen was open when it needed to be.
Likewise to Sam and her bar staff, often under pressure and trying to please rugby league players, which is no easy feat. A great contribution over the year and a big thank you.
There are many volunteers, without whom this club would struggle. To all of you, registrars, timekeepers, game day managers, junior fundraisers and managers, gate people, field setup volunteers, those who empty the bins, manage the video, clean the toilets and much, much more – a big thank you.
The Club cannot exist without the continued support of a group of community minded organisations who provide financial assistance to us. This enables the Club to buy equipment, jerseys and provide pathways to young men and women in the Community.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Franklin Offshore, Colas, RMD Tankers, Struddys, Cleartech, Port Kennedy Auto Parts, Saddlers, Vulcan, Vintage Road Haulage, Doric, Funky Mexican, Rockingham Nissan and Smartline Mortgages.
Our website is continuing to provide the information to players, other members and supporters. Those logged on continue to receive regular news updates through our Facebook page as well.
But please be aware that social media can also be a hindrance, especially when a debate or argument hets out of hand. Working the media I am acutely aware of that and how it can bring the club disrepute. So be nice to each other when discussing Sharks games or the club – and remember – we are all volunteers.
We have over 3000 followers on FB and about 4000 regular visitors to our website on a regular monthly cycle.
Our mail chimp newsletter also goes to over 500 registered names, and we will continue to grow that to ensure everyone is informed.
Lastly, it takes dedication, commitment and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to successfully run a football club. The 2018 committee had all that in spades. Without their drive, passion and integrity we would not be where we are today. My eternal thanks go out to my fellow committee members Joanne Prout, Michelle Shatte, Dave Tito and Dale Christy.
People, take a bow, you’re all stars in my books!
2018 for me was a challenge. A new kid on the block and I must admit there was much to learn.
Thank you to our life members for their valued support and ongoing advice.
I am proud of our club and our achievements for season 2018, but I know we can do better. We took great strides towards our goals and as an executive, next year I would like to consult with the members and develop a 5-year strategic plan to strengthen and improve the Club.
We face many challenges ahead, with Rockingham City Council and with the NRLWA, but challenges are there to be overcome.
In 2019 I look forward to seeing a stronger and more confident Sharks senior squad, teams working together in seniors and juniors, mens, boys, womens and girls, in our supporter base and on our committee.
“Fear The Fin”