One Community Awards finalists announced

The NRL has announced the "grassroots" finalists who are in the running for next week's One Community Awards.

The nominees announced today join the list of NRL players in the running for the coveted Ken Stephen Medal which will be presented as part of the awards at Sydney's Carriageworks on Thursday, 25 September.

The finalists have been nominated for their extraordinary commitment to the game and communities.

They have come from as far and wide including as Katherine in the Northern Territory to Perth and New Zealand. 

They have donated countless hours to the game and some of their personal stories include sourcing and delivering hundreds of blankets to the homeless, creating an expansive interschool Rugby League competition and using the power of the game to keep youth off the streets.

NRL Head of Community Adam Check said today, "The stories of all those nominated for NRL's One Community Award this year have been nothing short of remarkable.

"These people really are the heart and soul of the game. 

"What they have achieved is inspirational. 

"These awards are our way of saying thank you to those members of the Rugby League family who give so much."

The finalists for the 2014 NRL's One Community Awards include:

Telstra NRL One Community Grassroots Club of the Year: Recognises a club that has become an integral part of its community through outstanding initiatives in recruitment and club culture.  The winning club will receive $5,000 for use in club initiatives. 

The finalists are: Woonona Bulli Junior Rugby League Football Club (CRL); Sunset Tigers Junior Rugby League (QRL); Macarthur Saints Junior Rugby League Football Club (NSWRL); Katherine Junior Rugby League (NTRL). 

AAMI Service to Rugby League: Presented to someone who has shown 25 years or more of dedication to Rugby League and their community. In addition to the prestigious medal, the medal winner will receive $5,000 from category sponsor, AAMI. 

The recipients are: Sandra Ellicot (CRL), Michael Covey (NSWRL) and John Moore (WARL). 

ACCOR Hotels National Teacher of the Year: Awarded to a teacher who has fostered Rugby League within their school through classroom activities, interschool competitions and an introduction of Rugby League into the curriculum. The winner receives four nights accommodation for two adults and two children at an Accor Hotel (prize value: $1,400). 

The finalists are: Christina Whitbread (NSW), Jon Keal (QLD), Michelle Dickson (NSW) and Wayne Schultz (VIC). 

Holden National Volunteer of the Year: Presented to a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to their club and community through development, organisation and promotion of the game. The winner will receive a $5,000 donation to their club and $5,000 prize for themselves from category sponsor, Holden. 

Finalists include: Brad and Katrina Solman (CRL), Peter Sullings (QRL), Gary Fa'afua (NSWRL) and Robert Fuller (SARL). 

Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement: Recognising a woman who has been an inspiring advocate for women in Rugby League through her ongoing encouragement of women's participation in the sport. The winner will receive a $5,000 gift voucher to use at Harvey Norman. 

Finalists include: Annie Ker (CRL), Sandra Kenny (QRL), Yvonne Purtell (NSWRL) and Erin Rowe (SARL). 

The finalists for the Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra are:
Brisbane Broncos - Josh McGuire
Canberra Raiders - Joel Edwards
Canterbury Bulldogs - Trent Hodkinson
Cronulla Sharks - Michael Gordon
Gold Coast Titans - Ryan James
North Queensland Cowboys - Gavin Cooper
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles - Brenton Lawrence
Melbourne Storm - Matt Duffie
Newcastle Knights - Robbie Rochow
New Zealand Warriors - Manu Vatuvei
Parramatta Eels - Ben Smith
Penrith Panthers - Nigel Plum
St George Illawarra Dragons - Ben Creagh
Sydney Roosters - Anthony Minichiello
Wests Tigers - Dene Halatau