Manly Warringah Sea Eagles second-rower Joel Thompson is the Club's nominee for the 2019 Ken Stephen Medal.
The 2019 Ken Stephen Medallist will be announced during Grand Final week, with voting now open on NRL.com, providing fans the opportunity to select a nominee they feel deserves to be a finalist. The player with the highest number of votes will be included as one of four finalists announced next month.
Three other finalists will be voted via a panel of judges from across the game’s administration.
This is the 31st year of the Ken Stephen Medal, with the award recognising 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 and for going above and beyond in their involvement in charity work, youth development, or community support.
Fan voting is open until 9am on Monday 19 August.
Kellie Pethybridge, Manly's General Manager - Consumer and Community Engagement, said Joel was a very worthwhile nominee.
"Although a number of our players do a wonderful job giving back to the community, Joel is certainly a front runner when it comes to community work outside of his Club commitments through delivering his mental health program ‘The Mindset Project’,'' Pethybridge said.
Vote for Joel here
"Joel has been a mental health advocate for many years using his profile to share his lived experience and decrease the stigma around mental illness.
"He is a great supporter of our charity partner, The Avalon Youth Hub, who are working together to decrease youth suicide on the Northern Beaches.
"This year, Joel has delivered his program to 24 schools ranging from the Northern Beaches, Western Sydney to the Riverina, as well as remote and regional areas in NSW and Queensland.
"Joel has shared his story and the importance of making positive choices in life to around 2,500 young people in schools aging from 11 to 18-years-old and has provided them with tools to build resilience and to know that its 'ok' to ask for help.
"Additionally, Joel has spent time speaking with young men from Grafton Juvenile Justice Centre, was a guest speaker at the Black Dog Gala Dinner, and he also delivered his program to a number of corporate organisations."
The Ken Stephen Medal winner will be announced at the Dally M Awards on the 2nd October, however all nominees will wear a badge on their jersey to recognise their nomination in Round 25 and into Finals series for those who are involved.
The 2019 Ken Stephen Medal nominees are Andrew McCullough (Brisbane Broncos), Sia Soliola (Canberra Raiders), Adam Elliott (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Josh Dugan (Cronulla Sharks), Michael Gordon (Gold Coast Titans), Joel Thompson (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm), Connor Watson (Newcastle Knights), Gavin Cooper (North Queensland Cowboys), Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels), Frank Winterstein (Penrith Panthers), Corey Norman (St George-Illawarra Dragons), James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters), Agnatius Paasi (New Zealand Warriors), Josh Aloiai (Wests Tigers).