Rugby League fans have one last chance to nominate their unsung heroes for the 2011 One Community Awards with nominations closing this Friday, August 12.

The One Community Awards, which honour the game’s community heroes, are one of the most inspiring nights of the season with a gala ceremony at Sydney Town Hall in Grand Final Week bringing together NRL stars and grass-roots volunteers to celebrate the positive difference people in the game make to the lives of others through Rugby League.

In addition to the coveted Telstra Ken Stephen Medal, last year awarded to Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan, the One Community Awards feature the Toyota National Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Awards, Telstra Grassroots Club of the Year and ARL Development National Teacher of the Year.

Nominations can be made at www.rloc.com.au.

“Anyone involved in Rugby League knows of someone who has dedicated themselves to helping others enjoy the game and we want to share their stories,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said.

“This is a really special night and I encourage all fans to log on to the One Community website and nominate someone they believe is a true community hero.”

For the first time, the One Community Awards will also feature a Learn Earn Legend!Award, presented to a young Indigenous Australian who has made a commitment to further their education, improve their career options and act as a role model for other Indigenous Australians.

Nominations for the following One Community Awards are open now:

Toyota National Volunteer of the Year
The Toyota National Volunteer of the Year will have provided exceptional service to Rugby League and made a notable and measurable difference in their region in 2011. The nominees for the Toyota National Volunteer of the Year are judged on their contribution to the development, promotion and organisation of Rugby League in their community.

Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Award – Paid and Volunteer
The Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Awards are presented to women who have either acted as an outstanding advocate for the advancement and opportunity of women in Rugby League or the advancement of Rugby League generally.

Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year
The Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year will be presented to a Rugby League grassroots club that has fostered participation and enjoyment at all levels of the sport, has shown innovation in administration and has become an integral part of its community.

AAMI Service to the Community Award
The AAMI Service to the Community Award is presented to a grassroots volunteer, administrator, player, Club or organisation for providing an outstanding service to the community through their involvement in Rugby League.

AAMI Service to Refereeing Award
The winner will have provided service to the community through a commitment to the role of refereeing in 2011. They should have been involved in recruitment, retention and training of referees, as well as have refereed in the past or be refereeing now.

ARL Development National Teacher of the Year Award
This award will be presented to a Primary or Secondary School teacher who has demonstrated exceptional support of Rugby League through the provision of opportunities for students to be involved in practical Rugby League activities within their school and district.

Rugby League Learn Earn Legend! Award
This award will be presented in partnership with the Federal Government’s Learn Earn Legend! campaign to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander youth who has demonstrated the initiative’s core values by making a commitment to further their education, improve their career options and act as a role model for other young Indigenous Australians. It is awarded to a person who has proven that in doing this they can be a legend for themselves, their family and their community.

Click here to make a nomination

Nominations for the following two One Community Awards categories are provided by the NRL Clubs, although fans can vote for the Ken Stephen Medal. 

Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra
The Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra recognises the efforts of an NRL player, who has not only achieved on the field, but has also committed time off the field to community projects. The winner will have a history of donating their own time to assist community organisations, outside of their regular Club commitments.

Telstra NRL Club Community Program of the Year
Established by Rugby League’s One Community, this new award will be presented annually to an NRL Club that showcases an outstanding community program that significantly improves outcomes for the community it caters for.