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NRL head of government relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder (second left).

The 2020 NRL Community Awards process is underway with nominations being accepted for Grassroots Club of the Year and Grassroots Volunteer of the Year.

Nominations for these awards are open to the public for the first time. Anyone can shed light on a person or club worthy of recognition by heading to playrugbyleague.com/communityawards.

And in these unprecedented times, the work of grassroots volunteers and clubs is perhaps more important than ever. 

Countless people have helped restart community rugby league competitions or provided much-needed support.

"What we've endeavoured to do this year is enable as many people involved in grassroots rugby league as possible to nominate for the awards," said NRL head of government relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder.

NRL Community Awards 2020

"Nominate a local hero or grassroots club for the terrific work they're doing. That work may be how they're responding to the current conditions with COVID-19.

"Or it may have been work that happened earlier this year in responding to some of the natural disasters that we've endured, whether it be bushfire or drought or in the far north some of those devastating floods that we saw as well."

Nominations close on September 4.

Boland-Rudder pointed out that while many clubs are back playing, others have been prevented from doing so. However, that doesn't mean their efforts aren't valued.

"It's not to say that those clubs haven't done everything possible to provide support through their club networks," he said.

"I know some people who are doing a virtual club room via Zoom or Teams or one of many different technology solutions.

"And that work's to be commended as much as the work that we've celebrated in the past which has been centred around what's happened on local football fields."

The grassroots awards are two of four community prizes this year along with the Ken Stephen (NRL) and Veronica White (NRLW) medals presented to players who go above and beyond to help off the field.

Clubs are currently in the process of nominating players. Once the nominations are finalised, voting will be open to fans via NRL.com.