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23 May, 2021

Team to compete in memory of Shorey boys... They would be so proud

The Shorey family are seeking local businesses support in sponsoring a rugby team in memory of Shane and Sheldon who were tragically killed earlier this year.

By Morgan Burley

The Shane and Sheldon Memorial team will each have this image on their jerseys, with sponsorship logos surrounding the image. PHOTO: Supplied.

AN EMERALD family have organised for a memorial side to play in an upcoming national rugby carnival in memory of their sons, Shane and Sheldon Shorey, who were killed earlier this year. 

The Shorey family were asked to submit a team for the 50th NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout Carnival, also known as the Koori Knockout, and are now requesting the assistance of local businesses to sponsor their team. 

“I had friends and family members asking if I was going to put a side up in the knockout,” said their father, Joseph Shorey.  

“I haven’t seen anyone do a knockout for someone so young. 

“Normally its Aboriginal elders or someone older who has died – so it’s a privilege to put a memorial side in for the carnival. 

“The boys would love it, and that’s the main reason we’re doing it.” 

The Shorey family has created a special memorial shrine for Shane and Sheldon, who were tragically killed in January. PHOTOS: Morgan Burley

Shane, seven, and Sheldon, six, were tragically killed in Wellington, NSW, earlier this year, after an unlicensed driver allegedly did a burnout before ploughing into the boys on a footpath near a local swimming pool on January 6.

At the time they were walking with their mother, who was also seriously injured and their brother Mark, nine, who received minor injuries.

“They loved their footy. They sleep with a footy, play with the footy – if they could bring a footy to school they would.

“This team is all about the boys, to represent them.

“I know they would be looking down going ‘Yeah, do it’.”

Hosting a team for the knockout can be an expensive task – something that Mr Shorey estimates would cost a minimum of $22,000.

“Sponsorship is crucial,” he said.

“It pays for everything. Accommodation, entry fee, game wear, team wear, first aid gear, strapping gear… everything.

“The sponsors logos would go over everything, so they would really be promoted everywhere – especially because the carnival is televised.”

Shane Shorey will always have a special place in his family's hearts.

Mr Shorey said he had a tough time cutting down the selections and putting together his team of 25.

“When I put a post on Facebook that I was going to do this for the big knock out, I had about 100 messages within five minutes saying ‘my son would be proud to play for you’ ‘my nephew will play for the boys’,” he said. 

“I had over 100 players.  

“But I think they would be proud of the side I’ve put together.” 

The Koori Knockout will be held at the Bomaderry Sporting Complex near Nowra on the October long weekend – October 1 to 4. 

“It’s a big weekend and its brutal,” Mr Shorey said. 

“It’s very competitive and full on. They play with their hearts.

Sheldon Shorey, along with his brother Shane, loved his footy - particularly their favourite team the Bulldogs.

“There’s 64 men’s teams, 32 women’s team roughly, then you have under 12s, under 15 and under 17s.  

“The men’s side – the side our team will play in – smash it out. 

“If you lose a game, you’re out. If you win a game, you go onto the next round.  

“The men can play anywhere up to six or seven games over the weekend.” 

Mr Shorey said he was asked to also put together an under 12s side – the age bracket his sons would play in.  

“If there’s enough sponsorship… at the moment I’m just concentrating on the men’s, but if there’s enough sponsorship and money there to put a kid’s side in the boys ages that would be good,” he said. 

If you would like to sponsor the Shane and Sheldon Shorey Memorial team, contact Joseph Shorey on 0429 038 002. 


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