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True Blues in contention for Ken Stephen Medal

Four True Blues are in the running for the 2022 Ken Stephen Medal after being nominated in the NRL’s ‘Community Team of the Year’.

Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters), Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Nicho Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) and Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers) have been recognised by their clubs as players who are not only achieve on the field but also go above-and-beyond off it.

The Ken Stephen Medal is known as the ‘Man of the Year’ award, which fans can now vote for until Tuesday 24 August.

This is the 34th award since True Blue Wayne Pearce won it for the first time in 1988.

The Roosters nominated Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues back-rower Crichton as he’s been a vital link for the club and the Ronald McDonald House in Randwick, which provides accommodation for relatives of children in hospital.

Crichton volunteers his time both in person and continued to do so during COVID-19 via Facetime.

He is also passionate about Indigenous Australians, working with Indigenous student leaders and presenting them with their Sydney Roosters School to Work polo shirts for the NRL Indigenous Youth Leadership Summit. 

Crichton also launched an official charity – The First People Project, a mentoring program for Indigenous boys boarding in prestigious Sydney High Schools.

Rabbitohs five-eighth Walker also puts many hours into Indigenous work, dedicating time to the Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) Program, Aboriginal Employment Program, Deadly Youth Mentoring Program and Rabbitohs Wellbeing Program.

A Casino Cougars junior, he regularly visits the Casino/Lismore areas to work with Indigenous youth in the junior clubs there.

He also raises money for the Rising Warriors Program, which provides physical and emotional skills for kids with autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and is a guest speaking at schools at NAIDOC week. 

Hynes regularly gives back to the community through grassroots junior league clinics, school and hospital visits, in addition to his regular Sharks public commitments. 

As a proud Wiradjuri man and Indigenous role model, Hynes delivers messages of health and wellbeing through Cronulla’s Deadly Choices program and attended the NRL Youth Summit during NRL Indigenous round

Hynes liaised with the Aboriginal youth suicide prevention organisation - Cultural Choice Association - to encourage his teammates to wear boots, hand painted by students at a local Aboriginal youth hostel. 

He is a big supporter of the Mark Hughes Foundation, regularly wearing their beanie all-season long and not just for the Beanies for Brain Cancer round.

Hynes took part in the 150km Big Three Trek on his scheduled day off, in support of the charity, which takes walkers through areas he grew up in as an Umina Junior Rugby League Club member.

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues centre Crichton is committed to the Mount Druitt area in western Sydney with his aim being to influence the next generation in a positive way.

Rallying in family and friends to help, Crichton runs high quality exercise coaching clinics to improve physical and mental health of men and woman in the community.

They have gained in popularity with up to 50 people taking part at each training session, especially youngsters who see Crichton as a role model.

Crichton is driven by his strong sense of faith and regularly runs bible study groups and prayer sessions after games, inviting opposition players.

Click here to vote for your favourite player.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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