Warriors utility Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been nominated for the 2017 Ken Stephen Medal.
At just 22 years of age, Charnze has already made a huge impact in his local community.
The Auckland-born flyer only made his debut for the Warriors in 2017 but his community spirit was brought to national attention, when he purchased a pair of red Nike Air Max shoes for Takiri Wikiteram, a young man with cerebral palsy. Takiri had been nagging his mother to buy the shoes before Charnze stepped in when out shopping with his partner and their young son. The 13-year old, a diehard Warriors fan, couldn't believe his eyes, while his mother was bought to tears.
Charnze knows first-hand what the struggles of a physical disability look like. His older brother, Tyson, suffered from muscular dystrophy and sadly passed away in 2010. Charnze couldn't miss the opportunity to give back to someone in a similar position.
Following on from this act of kindness, Charnze offered his services to NZ Physical Disabilities Rugby League as an ambassador. The Cook Island-representative is keen to change perceptions of what people with physical disabilities can achieve. As he formalises his role over the next year, Charnze will no doubt be a powerful voice for the organisation.
A thoughtful young man, with a calm demeanour that belies his years, it is clear to see that the Warriors utility-man has a big future both on and off the field.
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.