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NRL Community and Education winners announced
A host of NRL and National Youth Competition (NYC) players recently joined local community heroes in being recognised for their tireless work throughout Australian communities at the NRL’s Community and Player Education Awards.
In its ninth year, the awards honour grassroots clubs and members, together with NRL and NYC players excelling in their educational and community endeavours.
Brett Morris, David Shillington and James Tedesco were among representative stars selected in the 2015 NRL Academic Team of the Year, while National Youth Competition players were also recognised, with Bradie Smith from the Knights taking out the Apprentice of the Year award.
Winners of the 2015 NRL Community included the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs from Western Australia (Grassroots Club of the Year), David Graham from Palmerston, Northern Territory (Teacher of the Year), Chris Kirkland from Collarenbri, NSW (National Volunteer of the Year) and the St George Illawarra Dragons (NRL Club Community Program of the Year).
The Dragons were applauded for their initiative - SCORE Dragons - a community program run alongside the Disability Trust Illawarra and the Illawarra and South Coast Junior Rugby Leagues, which creates an all-inclusive environment for young people aged between 12 and 23 living with various levels of disability.
NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith said the awards were a highlight of the NRL’s Grand Final week celebrations and an opportunity to publically acknowledge some amazing achievements that largely go unnoticed.
Smith stated “we have some incredible people who give their all for our game and it’s an honour to recognise so many of them in Grand Final week
“From our elite players right through to the parents that help out with coaching and manning the canteens, our rugby league community is the strongest it’s ever been both on and off the field.”
Winners and categories included:
National Volunteer of the Year: Chris Kirkland, Collarenebri, Country Rugby League
Grassroots Club of the Year: Ellenbrook Rabbitohs, Ellenbrook, Western Australia Rugby League
National Teacher of the Year: David Graham, Palmerston, Northern Territory Rugby League
NRL Club Community Program of the Year: St George Illawarra Dragons - SCORE Dragons
NRL Indigenous Academic Excellence: George Rose and Joel Thompson
NRL Pasifika Academic Excellence: Dene Halatau and Bronson Harrison
NYC Apprentice of the Year: Bradie Smith
Images: SCORE Dragons (top) and the award presented to Brett Morris of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
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