Grassroots club of the year finalists

A North Queensland Junior Rugby League Club dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous youth is one of three finalists for the 2013 Telstra Grassroots Club of the Year Award, with the winner to be announced at the annual NRL One Community Awards that will kick off the Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week.

Yarrabah Seahawk Junior Rugby League (near Cairns QLD), Denman Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League (Hunter region of NSW) and Moruya Sharks Senior Rugby League (NSW south coast) have been nominated for the prestigious award to be presented at the seventh annual NRL One Community Awards on Monday, 30 September, at Sydney’s Town Hall.

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The Telstra Grassroots Club of the Year Award is presented to a 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 their community.

Each of the three finalists hosts fundraising initiatives for selected charities, secures key local sponsors and drives volunteer support to ensure participation is possible for everyone in their local community and the values of Rugby League are upheld.

“Our aim is to provide a pathway through sport for our local kids to prosper,” said Yarrabah Seahawks Junior Rugby League President, Ross Andrews.

“We partner with local agencies to ensure that we have a safe environment which supports the physical and mental development of players and promotes community spirit for supporters.

"I'm happy that our club has been acknowledged but it’s really all about the kids playing sport, reconciliation and getting involved in the community that really counts."

The One Community Awards has a prize pool of over $50,000 across eight awards with Telstra presenting $4,000 to the winner of the Grassroots Club of

Other award categories include the Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra, Holden National Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Norman Women in League, 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.

“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.”

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