An ex-NSW marine police officer, a female accountant , an Australia Post investigator and a homewares distribution state manager are the four finalists nominated for the 2013 AAMI Service to Refereeing Award to be announced at the annual NRL One Community Awards that will kick off the Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week.

Stan Watson (North Sydney, NSW), Kim-Maree Teale (Macarthur, NSW), Chris Nightingale (Canberra, ACT) and Lloyd Evans (Gold Coast, QLD) are the four finalists for the prestigious award, which celebrates a referee who has been involved in recruitment, retention and training of referees in the community.

Between them, the group has dedicated more than 65 years to refereeing community Rugby League and developing other young referees to continue their important work for the game on a local and national level.�

“I was frustrated with the quality of refereeing in my area at the time I beaome involved in the sport 14 years ago,” said Evans.

“You can be an armchair critic or you can put up your hand and get involved, so that’s what I did.

“I love the work I’m doing with education, recruitment and retention in Rugby League but I’m a real believer in succession planning.

“If you put in 100 per cent effort for a number of years, then it’s time for fresh ideas and it’s important to encourage the young people coming through to step up.”

The seventh annual NRL One Community Awards will be held on Monday, 30 September, at Sydney’s Town Hall and is set to be an inspiring evening of celebration for the contributions made by Rugby League’s unsung heroes including volunteers, grassroots clubs, teachers, students, and NRL players.

AAMI will provide $2,500 to the winner of the 2013 Service to Refereeing Award.

“Every year we are blown away by the tireless contributions made by those in the grassroots Rugby League community,” said NRL Interim Community, Culture and Diversity General Manager, Mr Mark deWeerd.

“The efforts made by the 2013 finalists continue to inspire me and I couldn’t be more proud that the NRL is able to highlight the significant role volunteers play in our Game.”

The One Community Awards has a prize pool of over $50,000 across eight award categories including the Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra, Holden National Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Awards (Professional and Volunteer), Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year, AAMI Service to Refereeing, AAMI Service to the Community Award, National Teacher of the Year (Primary and Secondary School) and the Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award.

The 2013 Ken Stephen Medal finalists were announced earlier this month with club captains Michael Ennis, Terry Campese, Ben Creagh, Tim Mannah, Kurt Gidley and Nate Myles among the 15 nominated NRL players.

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