Canterbury Bulldogs Intrust Super Premiership NSW representative George Tsikrikas has been named NSWRL’s Welfare and Education Award winner as part of proceedings at NSWRL Grand Final Day at Pirtek Stadium.

Tsikrikas, who is currently in his third year of a Bachelor of Business and Commerce – Liberal Studies, has come through the Bulldogs’ junior system and has played 15 games for the club in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW this season.

The 22-year-old is one of many players benefiting from NSWRL Welfare and Education programs, which are designed to help players, administrators and officials develop their potential in every aspect of their lives.

The Welfare and Education programs allow players to find the balance between Rugby League, education and the work force, delivering programs and services that assist players and officials at the start of their careers through to retirement and beyond.

A host of Intrust Super Premiership NSW players are currently undertaking tertiary courses with the support of NSWRL, ranging from building, education, policing, real estate, youth work and more.

"We want players to be proud of the game they play and love, but also balanced in their approach to life,” said NSWRL Welfare and Education Manager, Greg Nichols.

“No matter how successful their on-field careers are, it’s inevitable that they will come to an end at some point in time.

“Being prepared for when that time comes is vital for making a successful transition out of the professional sporting environment and into a post sporting career."

NSWRL Chairman, Dr George Peponis OAM, can relate to Tsikrikas' story. With the support of the Canterbury Bulldogs and NSWRL, Dr Peponis was able to represent NSW and Australia while studying to become a doctor.

"I had the privilege of captaining my club and Australia as I juggled a Rugby League career with my medical studies," Mr Peponis said. 

"This would not have been possible without the support of my teammates, coaches and the entire Canterbury club.

"I’m delighted to say I know NSWRL and all our clubs aim to support the development of players as people as much as their development as Rugby League players."