Wests Tigers centre Jamal Idris has been nominated for the 2017 Ken Stephen Medal.
Both on and off the field, Jamal has overcome more obstacles than most. Returning to the NRL this year after a 12-month stint away from the game, the giant centre suffered the latest setback this May – a season-ending ACL injury.
However, these challenges, paired with Jamal's personal story which he is always willing to share, have only strengthened his resolve to go above and beyond in giving back to the community with any chance he gets.
An approachable and empathetic character, Jamal's weekly diary is filled with a range of commitments. You could find him aiding and training participants in the Wests Tigers Healthy Homeless Program. Or, he might be stressing the importance of education to disengaged youth at Sarah Redfern Public School as part of the Wests Tigers Mentoring Program.
If he's not there, through the Wests Tigers WHOs Program, he also mentors individuals undergoing rehabilitation for substance abuse.
Somehow, Jamal still finds time to work with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and is actively involved in the NRL's Dream Believe Achieve and School to Work programs. Jamal's Indigenous heritage is a great source of pride to him and, this year, he carried that into his Indigenous Round and NAIDOC Week activities.
Constantly researching and always eager to learn new things, Jamal not only makes a huge impact on the individuals that he meets but is integral in launching, developing and improving the Tigers' community programs so that they meet the needs of those most vulnerable.
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.