The Belconnen United Sharks Junior Rugby League Football Club plays an important role in the Canberra sporting community, upholding a strong focus on family values and inclusivity.
This season, the Sharks are supporting thirty-one teams ranging from U6s to U17s and are dedicated to enhancing players’ skills and aiding their development to prepare them for the senior competition.
We recently sat down with the President of the Sharks Junior Rugby League Football Club, Matt Brown, to talk about the importance of quality coaching, the emphasis on inclusion and growth in sport, and why the Sharks are so important in Canberra.
Belconnen United’s Fearless Leader, Matt Brown
Matt has been President of the Juniors for four years and was a valued member of the club for four years prior to that. Matt was an integral member of the Sharks, and his potential to be a dynamic and supportive leader for the club was obvious to anyone who met him, which is why it was no surprise Sharks asked him to take on the role of Club President.
Matt’s favourite part of being President of the Juniors is being able to see the kids run around and have a great time on the field.
Why Inclusivity Matters
The Sharks strive to provide a nurturing environment where everyone has equal opportunity to grow and thrive.
It’s no secret that rugby league is a sport that was previously male-dominated. However, the Sharks have made moves to turn the tables and provide equal opportunities for all.
“We pride ourselves on being a club that’s fair and is for anyone and everyone to enjoy” says Matt.
In Matt’s first season as Club President, there was just one all-girls team and now there are seven and growing! This was made possible thanks to the Sharks’ passionate and dedicated coaches who make it fun for all players of all ages and gave the girls the support and confidence to play.
The Power of Coaching
A good coach has a positive impact that extends far beyond training sessions in games.
A coach is not just for team strategy and drills, they often act as role models for the kids, both on and off the field. Instilling wisdom and valuable life lessons, such as how to work in an encouraging team environment.
At the Sharks, the coaches are responsible for building the club up to be an inclusive and welcoming environment for all involved. Through leadership and hard work, they have been able to drive more female participation, more newcomers, and lifelong friends between teammates.
Matt says that all the coaches and volunteers make the club a great place to be and he is grateful for their commitment to the kids who participate in local footy. It’s because of the great coaches and the training sessions filled with fun that the kids keep coming back. In turn, the coaches are given a rewarding experience of giving back to footy, the club, and the community.
A Partnership Made to Better the Community
Sharks Juniors have been sponsored by the RUC for many years now. With the RUC’s support, they are able to purchase more jerseys and water bottles, allowing them to cater to as many kids as possible, contributing to a healthier and more inclusive Canberra.
The Sharks Club are often getting involved with activities around the RUC, with their management team hosting our recent ANZAC 2UP, which was a huge help as it was our busiest day on record. The volunteers who came in to help definitely had their hands full!
Want to Get Involved with the Sharks?
If you are interested in getting involved in local rugby league or you know someone who might be, there is no better place than the Belconnen United Sharks Rugby League Club.
To find out more about the Junior Club or how to get involved visit the Club Team App.
To find out more about the RUC and our community sponsorships visit our community page.