The NRL has created a special medical fellowship in honour of the late Dr Ken Crichton, a long-time rugby league doctor who passed away last year.
The inaugural winner of the Dr Ken Crichton NRL Fellowship, Dr Tom Longworth, will spend the 2017 season with Sydney Roosters under the supervision of club doctor Ameer Ibrahim as well as NRL Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Bloomfield.
The fellowship was created by Dr Bloomfield and the NRL Football Department, and will be funded by the NRL. It is a joint training position between the NRL and the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP), of which Dr Crichton was a founding member.
The NRL aims to award the fellowship perennially both to honour Dr Crichton, who was a significant part of the rugby league medical community, as well as to train the new generation of rugby league medical staff.
Dr Bloomfield said it had been intended that Registrars awarded the fellowship both now and in the future would display characteristics which reflected Dr Crichton's personality as well as medical style, including being hard-working, ethical, a good communicator and devoted to sport. He said Dr Longworth had those attributes.
"Ken was a well-respected clinician, a devoted teacher and mentor for many sports physicians and sports medicine doctors. He was involved with rugby league from the mid-80s, with the North Sydney Bears, and then Manly.
"He was also the Deputy Medical Director of the 2000 Olympics Games.
"He was also an inaugural member and Chairman of the NRL Medical Advisory Panel, which was developed last year."
Dr Longworth said it was an honour to be awarded the position.
"It's certainly a privilege to be in this position," Dr Longworth said.
"I'm going to have a lot of support from Dr Paul Bloomfield and Dr Ameer Ibrahim next year. I know I'll have some great direction from them and will learn a lot."