Newcastle Knights forward Tariq Sims has been nominated for the NRL's One Community 2015 Ken Stephen Medal and voting is now open for fans to choose who they feel best display leadership qualities both on and off the field.
The Ken Stephen Medal recognises the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on field, but also contributed to community projects off-field.
Tariq shows courage, strength, compassion and a strong sense of teamwork both on and off the field. Throughout his Rugby League career, he has actively sought opportunities to support the Newcastle Knights' work in the local community.
Tariq frequently spends a large portion of his own time volunteering and raising awareness for the Knights' major charity partner, The John Hunter Children's Hospital. He has made multiple visits to bring cheer to the wards, in addition to participating in events and a television commercial designed to raise funds for the hospital.
Tariq is also an important leader and role model within the Newcastle Knights and across the wider community, which led to his appointment as an NRL State of Mind ambassador. He played a key role in the Knights' visit to Dugong after severe storms badly affected the area and frequently spends time volunteering at clinics, schools and general community events.
This year's list of nominees:
Matt Gillett – Brisbane Broncos
Trent Hodkinson – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Michael Ennis – Cronulla Sharks
Luke Douglas – Gold Coast Titans
Dayne Weston – Melbourne Storm
Josh Starling – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Tariq Sims – Newcastle Knights
Michael Morgan – North Queensland Cowboys
Tim Mannah – Parramatta Eels
Jeremy Latimore – Penrith Panthers
Joel Thompson – St George Illawarra Dragons
Jake Friend – Sydney Roosters
Konrad Hurrell – New Zealand Warriors
Keith Galloway – Wests Tigers
All nominees have been nominated by their clubs after demonstrating significant involvement in charity work, youth development or community support throughout the year.
“The Ken Stephen Medal is one of the highest honours that our Game can bestow on a player and we’ve seen some very deserving players awarded over the years,” said NRL Head of Community, Adam Check.
“The quality of this year’s nominees is outstanding and their commitment to serving their communities is something for all of us to strive for and certainly in line with our Game’s core values of excellence, courage, inclusiveness and teamwork.”
The Ken Stephen Medal will be awarded during the Dally Ms on Monday 28 September. Voting is open now and will close on 27 September.
Fans are urged to learn more about the nominees and their work in the community, as well as cast their vote at www.nrl.com/kenstephenmedal.