Sharks star Sam Tagataese has won the NRL's prestigious Ken Stephen Medal for his outstanding work in the community, most signficantly with Borderless Community Services, an organisation that provides fresh food and support for families in need.
Tagataese was presented with the Stephen Medal by John Grant, head of the NRL Commission, at the 2017 Community Awards ceremony.
Other worthy finalists for the Ken Stephen Medal included Joel Thompson, Trent Hodkinson and Tim Mannah.
A tireless worker away from his rugby league commitments, Tagataese used his training days off to offer his time and resources to Borderless Community Services and to the families they support.
CLICK HERE to see a link to a Fox Sports profile on Tagataese and see the Sharks TV video detailing the services Border Community provides and the assistance Sam provides.
Also below is the NRL press release from the 2017 Community Awards event.
NRL announces 2017 Community Award winners
The NRL has congratulated winners of the 2017 NRL Community Awards as celebrations ramp up ahead of the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
Nominees gathered with family and friends in Sydney for the 11th year of the awards, that acknowledge some of the game’s many unassuming heroes and their tireless community support.
NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg, who presented the Volunteer of the Year Award, said the occasion was an opportunity to call out the thousands of volunteers and those that serve within communities and junior rugby league and thank them for their efforts.
“Our game is built on a sense of inclusiveness and selflessness and the nominees this year, along with so many more, are the true legends of our game,” Mr Greenberg said.
“It is a privilege to be part of a wider rugby league family that is always there for one another and always there to help each other achieve their goals, play the game they love or simply listen and lend a helping hand.”
This year’s NRL Community Awards also included the announcement of the Ken Stephen Medallist for 2017, with the honour going to Sam Tagataese from the Cronulla Sharks.
“Sam has taken it upon himself to get out into his local community on his days off from training and provide food and a comforting word to those less fortunate and doing it tough,” Mr Greenberg said.
“I congratulate Sam and all of our Ken Stephen Medal nominees, together with all the 2017 Community Award nominees, on their outstanding achievements and the commitment and sacrifices they have made.”
2017 NRL Community Award winners (including Ken Stephen Medallist):
- Grassroots Club of the Year Presented by Telstra is Murgon Junior Rugby League Football Club
- Volunteer of the Year is Darren Deitz
- Women in League Achievement Award Presented by Harvey Norman is Jacqueline Jones
- Teacher of the Year Presented by ACCOR Hotels is Travis McIntosh
- Young Person of the Year is Courtney Baxter
- NRL Club Community Program of the Year is ‘Be All In’, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
- Ken Stephen Medal Presented by Telstra is Sam Tagataese, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks