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Fifteen Rugby League volunteers from four states have today been announced as finalists for the prestigious 2013 Holden Volunteer of the Year Award, to be presented at the NRL One Community Awards that will kick off the Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week.

They are among 87,629 Rugby League volunteers who dedicated their time to the sport in 2013, providing exceptional service performing various roles including Club Secretary, President, Treasurer, Sports Trainer and Team Manager at their community or district Rugby League clubs.

The finalists are: QLD - Wendy Caroll (Miles), Greg Bunyoung (Bundaberg), Leanne Thomas (Tolga), Ian Murphy (Coalfalls, Ipswich); NSW - Jie Pittman (Kings Park), Grahame Wagener (Engadine), Amelia Horo (Cranebrook), Leoni Barnett (Five Dock), Charlie Bate (Caringbah), Lisa O’Born (Blayney), Michael Gleeson (Narrabri), Andrew Biddle (Merewether), Ann Thorburn (Wingham); VIC - Brandon Taunoa (Hoppers Crossing); and SA: Terrena Guest (Burton).

“Every face is a new challenge … to see a child get their first try or their first tackle is a great experience,” said Mr Murphy, (Ipswich) Brothers Junior Rugby League Team Manager.

“But the thing I stress the most is to make sure they have fun, especially in the junior teams.

“Everyone wins in the Juniors! We don’t keep scores, we just enjoy the game which is important to encourage families to participate because they are the breeding ground for future coaches.”

The winner will be announced on Monday, 30 September, at Sydney’s Town Hall at the seventh annual Once Community Awards, which 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.

“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.

Holden will provide will provide $2,500 to the winner of the 2013 Volunteer of the Year 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.

Follow the NRL One Community Twitter feed @rlonecommunity and the official NRL Twitter feed @NRL, and ‘like’ the NRL One Community Facebook page to keep up to date with all of the latest information.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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