The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ dedication to the North Queensland community has been formally recognised tonight, with the club honoured with the title of 2010 Telstra One Community NRL Club of the Year. <br><br> The award recognises and rewards the NRL club that has implemented an outstanding community program throughout 2010 and was presented to the Cowboys as the leader in its community initiatives from 16 clubs. <br><br> The Cowboys were crowned the Community Club of the Year at the fourth annual One Community Awards at Sydney’s Town Hall, after investing a total of 2,465 hours in the North Queensland community and dedicating 1,340 hours to special appearances in 2010. <br><br> The Cowboys’ signature community programs include Adopt-a-School, Cowboys Community Fund, Cowboys in the Classroom, Field of Dreams, Obe Geia Challenge and Community Corner. <br><br> Through these programs, the Cowboys have helped organisations working to improve the lives of North Queenslanders, including Camp Quality, CanTeen, Make-a-Wish Australia, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Just 4 Kids and AEIOU, among others. <br><br> The club has also developed strategic community partnerships with organisations including Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme, YWAM Medical Ships, PCYC Cloncurry, CANEGROWERS and the Northern Territory Government. <br><br> In addition to their structured community programs and partnerships, the Cowboys maintain a community requests program that received almost 4,000 requests from community organisations and individuals seeking support over the past year. <br><br> Cowboys Community Relations Manager Fiona Pelling was at the ceremony to accept the award. <br><br> “Our Cowboys in the Community program is at the heart of our club. Winning this award demonstrates our commitment and shows that we are dedicated to making a difference in the community we represent,” Ms Pelling said. <br><br> “To win the award ahead of all the other clubs that are doing some fantastic work in rugby league communities across Australia and beyond is a great honour and we are very proud to be part of the NRL’s One Community program. <br><br> “Throughout 2010 we have built on existing programs and introduced some new programs to promote positive change. We have also focused on providing opportunities for organisations to raise awareness about their causes, and involved our players in many activities and enriched many lives through their experiences. <br><br> “The Cowboys cover the largest geographical footprint of any NRL club and as a result our goal is to strategically invest time and effort where we can make a difference, and to do this we are constantly building on our relationships with community stakeholders and learning about the challenges and issues that North Queenslanders face.” <br><br> Ms Pelling said that the Community Club of the Year award could not have been achieved without the efforts of the club’s community partners, including Stockland, BHP Billiton Cannington, Coca-Cola Amatil, Xstrata, Southern Cross Media Group (HOTFM, 4TO FM), Cowboys Leagues Club and the Northern Territory Government. <br><br> “A core driver of our community programs is that we carefully identify and select community partners – the emphasis has always been on getting it right and the honour of receiving this award shows that we have done just that. <br><br> “Whether it’s taking education about leadership into remote classrooms, giving community groups the chance to promote their cause at our home games or visiting a sick child in hospital, the Cowboys in the Community program ensures that we’re always winning.”