Sharks fullback Michael Gordon is the Sharks nominee for the Ken Stephens medal, an award celebrating the work the NRL and its players do in the community, for his outstanding contribution to Sharks community programs and initiatives throughout 2014.
Gordon has proved to not only be a great contributor to the Sharks on-field performances, having been the only player at the club to run out for all 23 NRL games so far in 2014, but off the field he has also been a shining light when it comes to his commitment to community causes.
He has devoted his time to help brighten the lives of children in schools, hospitals and also in and around Remondis Stadium during their frequent visits on training and game days, with his passion for working with youth a driving force in him giving up his time to in committing to a significant amount of community work.
A proud father of two children, Gordon has been instrumental in the Cronulla Sharks work with the NRL’s ‘Tackle Bullying’ program, a community initiative that alerts children to the consequences of bullying and attempts to empower them to cope with challenging social situations.
Outside of the classroom he is also a more than willing participant in junior clinics, helping to teach fundamental football skills and the importance of sport and exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle, while Gordon has managed to brighten the day of numerous sick and disadvantaged kids with a number of hospital visits throughout the year.
“Working with kids is such a rewarding experience,” Gordon says. “When you interact with children about topics like bullying you can see that they really take that information to heart. It’s great to be able to share such positive messages with kids during their early years.”
“As a father myself, I find there is nothing that beats seeing a child smile from something you have done to improve their day.”
The Ken Stephen medal recognizes the outstanding contribution an NRL player has made to the community over the course of a season and is the highest accolade for their work within the community.
Since the award was first presented to Wayne Pearce in 1988, an impressive list of players, including Peter Sterling, Paul Harragon and in more recent times David Peachey, Preston Campbell and Johnathan Thurston have been honoured.