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KP nominated for 2018 Ken Stephen Medal

Kalyn Ponga has been nominated for the 2018 Ken Stephen Medal.

The award recognises the positive contributions a player has made in the community through charity work, youth development or other community initiatives.

The winner of the 2018 Ken Stephen Medal will be crowned at this years' Dally M Awards.

Each Club except for two nominated a player who demonstrates dedication to making a difference within the community.

Ponga is the nominee for the nib Newcastle Knights.

We all know what the livewire can do on the field but away from the paddock, the mature 20-year-old recognises the impact he has away from it.

His ability to touch those within the community is demonstrated after every game when he gifts his headgear to a young supporter or through his friendship with four-year-old Maitland product Amaya.

NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder congratulated all nominees on their achievements off the field.

Brown: Ponga's No.6 switch, incredible defensive effort

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"These nominees are just some of the many players within clubs and communities that lend a helping hand where and when they can to all number of charities, hospitals and others in need," Mr Boland-Rudder said.

"Many of the stories and acts of kindness go un-noticed and un-told, although we regularly hear from members of the public about a player taking time out to give back and make a difference for the better.

"As a sport, we have a powerful voice and an even greater opportunity for everyone involved to continue to look out for one another, support each other when times are tough, and ensure that together, our communities are prosperous."

Previous Ken Stephen Medal winners include Sam Tagataese, Trent Hodkinson, Jonathan Thurston, Sam Thaiday, Nathan Hindmarsh and Preston Campbell.

The 2018 Ken Stephen Medal nominees are:

Brisbane Broncos: Darius Boyd
Canberra Raiders: Sam Williams
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: Adam Elliott
Cronulla Sharks: Edrick Lee
Gold Coast Titans: Ryan James
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles: Joel Thompson
Melbourne Storm: Christian Welch
Newcastle Knights: Kayln Ponga
North Queensland Cowboys: Jake Granville
Parramatta Eels: Cameron King
Penrith Panthers: Trent Merrin
St George-Illawarra Dragons: Matt Dufty
Sydney Roosters: Latrell Mitchell
Wests Tigers: Josh Aloiai