Ken Stephen Medal: Trent Merrin
Trent is the 'go-to guy' when it comes to Panthers various community-based programs and community appearances. Never one to seek recognition or reward for his generosity, in 2017, Trent has selflessly contributed to Adopt a School, the NRL Community Carnival and JETS Development programs.
Trent's compassion for those in need is genuine and he is always the first to volunteer for hospital or school visits. This year he has spent invaluable time with in-patients and their families at the Children's Hospital, Westmead as well as speaking to students at local Penrith and Bathurst schools about his inspirational path to the NRL.
This year, Trent also became a NRL State of Mind Ambassador, sharing his story so that others are encouraged to share their own.
A role model to both younger teammates as well as Junior League participants in the Penrith District, Trent rallies others to contribute toward local events and causes. He is a natural leader in the Panthers playing group, consistently setting an example both on and off the field. These qualities were none more evident than when Trent invited new recruit Mitch Rein to live with him while he adjusted to life in Penrith.
Trent is proud to represent the Panthers and has embraced his role as an ambassador for Rugby League.
The Ken Stephen Medal
Ken Stephen was an administrator who devoted 28 years to the NSWRL in various capacities. He retired shortly before his death in 1988. The Ken Stephen Medal 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.
A player is nominated by their NRL club for their involvement in charity work, youth development or community support. The nominated player will have consistently demonstrated their commitment to making a difference in their community and be seen as a role model in this area at their NRL club.
The NRL Community Awards recognise Rugby League's unsung heroes for the tireless work they do to support the game they love. From volunteers and teachers, to players at a first-grade level, the awards pause to honour, reflect and congratulate those who make a positive difference for many in their communities, week after week.