Thank you for the 2020 Season
What a year! From a season that looked like it would never really begin back in March due to the sudden onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, seven months later the Bears were rewriting the history books. On Sunday 27th September at Bankwest Stadium, our Harvey Norman Women’s Team took to the field in our first-ever appearance in a major women’s Grand Final. This was a history-making moment for the Bears and a fantastic opportunity for our proud club to show the success of the women’s program that was only established in 2018.
Our women’s team has developed and grown throughout this 2020 season and the level of skill and determination displayed during the Grand Final on Sunday was impressive. The girls played well and held their own on the big stage but alas went down to the Central Coast Roosters 16 – 10. Congratulations to all of the team both on and off the field for an amazing season. With the end of the women’s season, we are also saying goodbye to Head Coach, Rob Capizzi, who will be leaving the Bears due to new work opportunities. Thank you Rob for your dedication to the team, the nurturing environment you have created within the group, and good luck for your next journey.
In March four of our Bears competitions were disrupted by NSWRL due to the escalating situation with Covid-19. Canterbury Cup and Jersey Flegg had their full seasons cancelled followed by our junior reps programs, SG Ball and Harold Matthews, where both of their seasons were ended early. However, when the opportunity arose to get our senior men back playing footy during 2020 the North Sydney Bears were one the clubs that put their hand up to participate. Jason Taylor resumed his role as Club Coach and Head Coach and the Presidents Cup team was formed as a combination of Bears Canterbury Cup, Jersey Flegg, Asquith Magpies Ron Massey, and Sydney Roosters players. The boys had a fantastic season playing a wide variety of clubs including regional towns of Dubbo, Bathurst, and Maitland. It was a tough and physical competition and the Bears did well to finish in third position and head into a Grand Final Qualifier game. Unfortunately, the team’s season ended one game short of the big dance to a strong Glebe Dirty Reds side. Keep your heads’ high boys, you played the whole season with pride, immense skill, and represented the mighty tradition of the Red & Black well.
This year also saw the official launch of the Red & Black Foundation which underpins the Bear’s commitment to Rugby League in our wider community. The Foundation aims to provide ongoing opportunity and support to all our players and also allow for continued innovation & growth of the game in our district. We are focused on building a club for the future. A club that draws on 112 years of proud heritage, a club that champions the equality of women in rugby league, and a club that thrives on the success of our very own talented junior league players, both male and female.
This season would not have happened without the continued support of our Major Partners. Joe Moussa, Stonemasons & Landscapers, took on the highly coveted position of our Principal Partner in 2020 and has been a stalwart figure throughout the whole club. Joe is a supporter of the Bears and he, and his family, have been great sideline supporters at many Bears game this year. To Joe, we say thank you and hope to see this partnership develop further. Thanks to Luke Simmons and the Norths Collective for your ongoing support of the Red & Black as it’s invaluable, your guidance and support during this challenging year has been appreciated. The Bears are honoured to wear the NORTHS logo on our jersey and call the club our home.
Thank you to all of our Major Partners and Corporate Partners for the 2020 season. Your involvement in our club is very much appreciated and you are all an important part of the North Sydney Bears continual drive for Tradition, Pride, and Thrive. 2021 is set to be a big year for the Bears, bigger & better as we stand united together. We also welcomed and thank John Habkouk from Results Laser Clinic who supported the Women’s team at late notice of which was appreciated and needed.
We would also like to thank the many volunteers who contribute so much to the mighty Bears throughout the year. Special thanks goes out to current clubman of the year Luke Alcorn and Rob Bilic who work tirelessly on game days and are considered a true part of the Bears family. Ian Reilly, thank you for capturing Bears’ history through your lens. Your images are fantastic and are lasting memories of a season now completed.
To our Bears players and staff who have all sacrificed this year, we say a huge thank you of appreciation. The club staff have sacrificed significantly and yet worked harder than ever to offset a challenging environment. Thank you to Mary Finkelsen who paid the ultimate sacrifice and stood down from her position, you are forever part of the Bears family. We would not have survived without the combined effort and sacrifice from all of our staff and players this year and our gratitude for this is immense.
And lastly, to our loyal supporters, true fans, the old bears, junior league and members who have not only supported the North Sydney Bears on game day but stood alongside positively during these challenging times to ensure the club thrives on. During the challenging 2020 season, we have grown our financial membership base, increased our merchandise revenues by over 60%, and expanded our social following to over 33,000 across our digital platforms led brilliantly by Fran Hahlos. To each and every one of you, we say THANK YOU for this contribution to the club!
We look forward to sharing our plans with you all in the coming months – rest assured, we are building a bigger and better Bears.
David Perry CEO | Daniel Dickson CHAIRMAN
North Sydney Bears