Vote for Joel Edwards: 2014 Ken Stephen Medal

Canberra Raiders forward Joel Edwards has been nominated for the 2014 Ken Stephen Medal, for his outstanding work in the community.

Members of the public can make a difference by voting for the player they feel is most deserving of such the medal voting at: nrl.com/kenstephenmedal

Joel has taken it upon himself to get involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities and through a mentoring program at a local high school on a personal level without the profile and hype that comes with major events. This has been his most rewarding experience as he regularly goes out during his spare time to visit kids either in hospital or in schools to try and lift their spirits in any way he can.

Symbolic of Joel’s kind heart is the many special relationships Joel has with Raiders Members and Sponsors.  Joel is constantly being asked to donate merchandise and his time to different events and as such does so without question and always out of his own pocket.

Giving up much of his spare time, Joel has worked tirelessly with the Starlight Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and St Johns Care to help provide a smile to the faces of those less fortunate.

The amount Joel undertakes does not change regardless of whether he is in full time training and playing mode or injured.Joel is held with the highest esteem in this community, one of our most respected players on and off the field and he is a well-loved character of the NRL. He is genuine, empathetic and selfless when it comes to those less fortunate than himself.

In 2013 Canberra Raiders star Terry Campese picked up the award for his work through his charitable foundation the Terry Campese Foundation.

The NRL has announced the list of finalists in the running to win the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra for their work in the community.

This year’s nominees have been involved in everything from establishing programs supporting professional athletes studying at university to dedicating countless hours to children’s literacy programs and striving to stamp out bullying in schools across the country.

NRL Head of Community, Adam Check, said the players had either undertaken the work through their clubs – or of their own accord.

Voting is live to the public from midday Monday, 1 September until midnight on Wednesday, 10 September.

The Ken Stephen Medal is named after the NSWRL administrator who dedicated 28 years of service to the game.

Finalists for 2014 Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra are:

Club

Finalist

Brisbane Broncos

Josh McGuire

Canberra Raiders

Joel Edwards

Canterbury Bulldogs

Trent Hodkinson

Cronulla Sharks

Michael Gordon

Gold Coast Titans

Ryan James

North Queensland Cowboys

Gavin Cooper

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Brenton Lawrence

Melbourne Storm

Matt Duffie

Newcastle Knights

Robbie Rochow

New Zealand Warriors

Manu Vatuvei

Parramatta Eels

Ben Smith

Penrith Panthers

Nigel Plum

St George Illawarra Dragons

Ben Creagh

Sydney Roosters

Anthony Minichiello

Wests Tigers

Dene Halatau

 

The medal has been won by Rugby League legends including Wayne Pearce, Paul Harragon, Nathan Hindmarsh, Hazem El Masri, David Peachey, Preston Campbell and Johnathan Thurston, to name a few.

Mr Check said players and One Community Ambassadors spent more than 30,000 hours working in their communities last year.

“We know clubs already dedicate a significant amount of time to the community but the nominees for the Ken Stephen Medal go above and beyond the call of duty - they are role models of the game,” he said.
 
“The NRL One Community Awards are also about recognising the contribution made by people in all areas of the game who work tirelessly to make Rugby League such a strong and diverse game.”

The winner will be announced at the One Community Awards held at Sydney’s Carriageworks on Thursday, 25 September.  The NRL will recognise the community work made, not only by the players, but also local heroes from across the community.

The list of community awards includes the Telstra NRL One Community Grassroots Club of the Year, Holden National Volunteer of the Year, AAMI Service to Rugby League Medal, ACCOR National Teacher of the Year and Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement.

An honour roll of previous Ken Stephen Medal winners includes:

Year

Winner

1988

Wayne Pearce

1989

Ricky Walford

1990

Michael Bolt

1991

Pat Jarvis

1992

Peter Sterling

1993

Michael Andrews

1994

Ian Roberts

1995

Rod Wishart

1996

Not awarded

1997

Paul Harragon

1998

Mark Coyne

1999

Andrew Ettingshausen

2000

Nathan Blacklock

2001

Parramatta Eels

2002

Hazem El Masri

2003

David Peachey

2004

Dean Widders

2005

Jason Stevens

2006

Michael Monaghan

2007

Ruben Wiki

2008

Preston Campbell

2009

Nathan Hindmarsh

2010

Andrew Ryan

2011

Sam Thaiday

2012

Johnathan Thurston

2013

Terry Campese