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NYC Newcastle Knight Ben Stone has been awarded the Hunter TAFE Student of the Month Award for September.

Stone is within sight of completing a Diploma of Surveying at Tighes Hill Hunter TAFE Campus and has shown commitment and dedication to his two-year course.

The young Knight looks forward to gaining his qualifications that will kick start a career in surveying.

“Hopefully I can get out, and get some experience then go into a job in the field that I’m studying,” Stone said.

He explains the convenience of training and studying at the same facility has made for a smooth process while he pursues his goals in rugby league. 

“It’s pretty good because we train here at Tighes Hill and my course is here at Tighes Hill, so I can just run across,” he said.

“It’s only a two-minute walk which is really good.”

Stone also acknowledges the support of TAFE teachers, in particular teacher Shannon Wilson who has provided additional assistance when ever he's needed it. 

“He’s been really good and has done extra tutorials with me when I have been struggling at times," he said.

 “The teachers are really good and help you and think it was a better step for me to go to TAFE as it’s more hands on than uni."

Stone has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the NYC Knights where he has strived to make personal improvements throughout the season.

“(Coaches) Troy (Pezet) and Craig (Smith) are good to learn from and similar to what I’m used to with coaches,” he said.

 “I’ve learned how to be a bit more professional in my approach to preparing for games and what I do on game day."

During the 2015 season, the developing forward had the opportunity to play alongside his younger brother Sam in the NYC competition, something the two brothers have done before, but were proud to achieve playing in the NYC U20s competition.

“It’s pretty fun, I’ve played with him before in grand finals, but it’s good to play with him at a higher level,” he said.

As well as setting goals for next season goes, Stone is committed to continuing his studies, but is excited to push his football to the next level.

“I want to keep enjoying footy and hopefully keep playing at the highest level I can,” he concluded.