State of Mind ambassadors and XXXX Queensland Maroons Dane Gagai

Voting open for 2016 Ken Stephen Medal

Queensland Maroons fullback Darius Boyd is one of the nominees up for this year’s Ken Stephen Medal.

The Brisbane Broncos star joins the likes of former Queensland Emerging Squad members Moses Mbye (Bulldogs) and Brenton Lawrence (Manly Sea Eagles) who have been nominated by their clubs for the 2016 award.
 
Voting has opened to select the 2016 Ken Stephen Medallist, with fans encouraged to select the player they believe best reflects leadership qualities befitting of the medal.
 
The Ken Stephen Medal will be awarded during the 2016 Dally M Awards and recognises the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved success and leadership on-field, but contributed to community projects off-field to make a positive difference and change.

Since his well storied battle with mental illness just a few years ago, Boyd has turned his life around to become one of the leading athlete ambassadors, dedicated to providing support and encouragement for people who find it difficult to speak up and seek help.

He volunteered for the NRL State of Mind Ambassadorship in 2015, which has continued in 2016. A major focus for this year has been his work delivering the NRL's State of Mind initiative to hundreds of people at grassroots clubs as well as schools.

Read more about why Darius was nominated here: Ken Stephen Medal nominees

Ken Stephen Medal nominees for 2016 are: 

Darius Boyd – Brisbane Broncos
Sia Soliola – Canberra Raiders
Moses Mbye – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Paul Gallen – Cronulla Sharks
William Zillman – Gold Coast Titans
Brenton Lawrence – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Nelson Asofa Solomona – Melbourne Storm
Trent Hodkinson – Newcastle Knights
John Asiata – North Queensland Cowboys
Tim Mannah – Parramatta Eels
Trent Merrin – Penrith Panthers
Joel Thompson – St George Illawarra Dragons
Kane Evans – Sydney Roosters
James Gavet – New Zealand Warriors
Dene Halatau – Wests Tigers
 
NRL General Manager of Community Ellen Beale said the nominated players had all demonstrated exceptional community service throughout the season, quite often away from the media and public.
 
“Rugby league is fortunate to have strong community values and players across all levels of the game who support one another and their local communities,” Ms Beale said.
 
“Our NRL players are to be commended for their support and commitment to helping others less fortunate and the nominees for this year’s Ken Stephen Medal are among some of the best in our game when it comes to service and sacrifice off the field.”
 
All Ken Stephen Medal nominees this year will be officially congratulated and recognised at the 2016 NRL Community Awards, with nominees forming the inaugural NRL Community Team of the Year.
 
To find out more on the nominees and to vote, head to NRL.Com/KenStephenMedal

*This first appeared on NRL.com