Much of the work of Ronaldo Mulitalo in the community is reported through Sharks media channels and in mainstream media. Just as much of what he does in the community isn't reported nor carried out for media recognition.
A passionate player on the field who is equally committed to helping others perhaps less fortunate when away from training and game day, Mulitalo is an outstanding contributor in relation to community initiatives an charitable causes.
It should then come as no surprise that Mulitalo is amongst 13 NRL players nominated for the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal in recognising their off-field work.
NRL players take great delight in engaging with the community and boosting spirits, with these deeds not done for praise or attention.
Sponsored by Your Local Club, the 2021 Ken Stephen Medal nominees, put forward by their NRL clubs as part of the annual NRL Community Awards, are listed below with their junior teams:
• Adam Doueihi (Wests Tigers/Strathfield Raiders)
• Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs/Casino Cougars)
• Jamal Fogarty (Gold Coast Titans/Beaudesert Kingfishers)
• Jamayne Isaako (Brisbane Broncos/Aranui Eagles)
• Jarrod Croker (Canberra Raiders/Goulburn Stockmen Juniors)
• Josh King (Newcastle Knights/Singleton Greyhounds)
• Nat Butcher (Sydney Roosters/South Eastern Seagulls)
• Nicho Hynes (Melbourne Storm/Umina Bunnies)
• Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Canterbury Bulldogs/Otahuhu Leopards NZ)
• Ronaldo Mulitalo (Cronulla Sharks/Springfield Panthers)
• Ryan Matterson (Parramatta Eels/Bankstown Bulls)
• Sean Keppie (Manly Sea Eagles/Narellan Jets)
• Tom Gilbert (North Queensland Cowboys/Norths Devils Brisbane)
Three finalists for the prestigious award will be chosen by an esteemed panel, with the fan vote to determine the fourth.
While in a change from previous years, the player who takes out the fan vote will earn $3500 for their junior rugby league club.
As Sharks fans would be aware, Mulitalo willingly gives his time and lends his profile to numerous causes, with the now 21-year-old having done so since arriving at the Club as a teenager.
He continues to drive fundraising initiatives while offering support to Stepping Stone House, award-winning charity that gives displaced young people a safe home with educational and employment opportunities and is a regular visitor to the Sharks supported Skillz4Me program which delivers weekly sports and social programs for families with children with disability.
In 2020 his support for friend and former teammate Fine Kula was unconditional, while Mulitalo again displayed his passion to giving back by recently connecting with a young Sharks fan Conrad, who is battling Leukemia.
And that is the work and those initiatives that have been publicised, with much of his work going unnoticed by many, but not those to benefit from his passion and efforts in the community.
To vote for Ronaldo to become a finalist in the Ken Stephen Medal, CLICK HERE.
The fan vote will close on August 8 before finalists are announced during the finals series.
"As a sport, we have a powerful voice and platform to inspire and unite communities especially in times that are challenging," NRL Acting Head of Participation, Pathways & Community Andrew Every said.
"These nominees are just some of the many NRL players that are passionate about giving back and do so without wanting or expecting recognition.
"Whether it's Ronaldo Mulitalo working tirelessly to support teammate Fine Kula throughout his brain cancer battle and initiating the Fight for Fine campaign, Adam Doueihi leading the Wests Tigers Beirut Appeal or Sean Keppie initiating ways to maintain his community work during lockdown, continuing his visits via Zoom.
"I thank each nominee and all the players for their efforts in supporting their community throughout the year.
"Excitingly this year with the support of ClubsNSW the winning nominee of the fan vote not only becomes the automatic fourth finalist but also wins a major cash prize for their junior rugby league club.
"So I encourage all fans and the rugby league community to read about the incredible work of each nominee and to vote!”
ClubsNSW Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM added: "The NRL players nominated for this medal have not only achieved success on the field, they have also managed to find time off the field to support a variety of worthy community initiatives - a purpose that these individuals and clubs have in common.
"Congratulations to all the nominees. You are all winners in the eyes of the community, and we sincerely appreciate and admire your hard work and dedication."
Knights player Connor Watson was the 2020 Ken Stephen Medallist for his work with Indigenous Youth and Boots for Brighter Futures campaign.