Our game is in great shape: Gallop

To see your club's nominee and to vote for the Ken Stephen Medal winner, click here.

To read the official State of the Game release, click here.

NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop has triumphantly announced his code will defy a year of off-field trauma to break attendance records in 2009.

Whilst delivering the code's annual State of the Game address, Gallop claimed that league's annus horribilis, " ... has seen Rugby League defy the trend of every other Australian football code by actually increasing average crowds 2.12% to date."

"Only 88,968 fans stand between the Round 25 tally of 2,935,181 and the 2007 NRL record of 3,024,149.

"The only previous occasion in which the game passed three million fans in the competition rounds was in 1995 when a 20-team competition recorded 3,061,338 during the regular season. Even this record remains under threat in 2009."

The game’s 2009 report card also shows growth in other key indicators with television ratings, club membership, licensing, online engagement and participation all up on previous years, thanks in part to a closer and faster competition on the field.

The NRL was also trumpeting it's off-field achievements, specifically noting an increase in the number of players taking part in career education and an increase in the number of hours devoted to community and charity activities.

Joining Gallop to deliver the happy message were 2009 Telstra Ken Stephen Medal nominees Nathan Hindmarsh, Wendell Sailor and Andrew Ryan.

The medal is awarded to the player who delivers the most-outstanding contribution to community service.

Each club has now publicly announced its Telstra Ken Stephen Medal nominee and the winner will be announced at the Rugby League One Community Awards on November 24.

In 2009 the public can vote for the Telstra Ken Stephen Medal winner for the first time.

To see your club's nominee and to vote for the Ken Stephen Medal winner, click here.

To read the official State of the Game release, click here.