Ken Stephen Medal.
Tuqiri's work with Guide Dogs NSW and ACT has earned him a nomination for the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra, to be announced at the 2013 NRL One Community Awards, which will kick off the Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week.
The award, won last year by Cowboys Co-Captain Johnathan Thurston, recognises an NRL player who has demonstrated exceptional community service.
Tuqiri is among 15 finalists including NRL Club Captains Michael Ennis (Bulldogs), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Terry Campese (Raiders), Nate Myles (Titans), Tim Mannah (Eels) and Billy Slater (Storm), as well as Joe Galuvao (Manly), Ben Ross (Sharks), Brent Tate (Cowboys), Scott Prince (Broncos), Clint Newton (Panthers), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters) and Steve Rapira (Warriors).
Tuqiri supports Guide Dogs NSW and ACTs initiatives such as Kicking Goals for Guide Dogs and Vision Loss, which helps raise awareness of how their free services can enhance the independence of people with impaired vision.
For the second year running, Tuqiri will also be a Blue September Ambassador, a charity campaign aimed to raise funds and awareness for mens cancer.
It is a great honour to be the Wests Tigers nominee for the Ken Stephen Medal, said Tuqiri.
Working in the community and helping to brighten up the lives of those less fortunate gives you a warm feeling. It is always great to put something back into the game.
The seventh annual NRL One Community Awards will be held on Monday, 30 September, at Sydneys Town Hall and is set to be an inspiring evening of celebration for the contributions made by NRLs unsung heroes including volunteers, grassroots clubs, teachers, students, and NRL players.
Every year Im blown away by the tireless contributions made by those in the grassroots Rugby League community, said NRL Interim Community, Culture and Diversity General Manager, Mr Mark deWeerd.
The game would not be at the level it is today without their support, dedication and commitment.
Since 1988 the Ken Stephen Medal has honoured the likes of ARL Commissioner, Wayne Pearce, Andrew Ettingshausen, Mark Coyne, Peter Sterling, Hazem El Masri, Nathan Hindmarsh, Andrew Ryan, Sam Thaiday and last years winner, Johnathan Thurston, for their contributions to the game and the community.
The One Community Awards has a prize pool of over $50,000 across eight award categories including the Holden National Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Awards (Professional and Volunteer), Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year, AAMI Service to Refereeing, AAMI Service to the Community Award, National Teacher of the Year (Primary and Secondary School) and the Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award.
The public will have a chance to vote for the winner of the Ken Stephen Medal, with the public winner earning one vote for the final judging stage. Voting for the Ken Stephen Medal will open at the end of the month.
Follow the NRL One Community Twitter feed @rlonecommunity and the official NRL Twitter feed @NRL, and like the NRL One Community Facebook page to keep up to date with all of the latest information.
The finalists for the 2013 Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra are:
Broncos Scott Prince
Bulldogs Michael Ennis (Captain)
Raiders Terry Campese (Captain)
Cowboys Brent Tate
Dragons Ben Creagh (Captain)
Eels Tim Mannah (Co-captain)
Knights Kurt Gidley (Captain)
Sea Eagles Joe Galuvao
Panthers Clint Newton
Roosters Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Sharks Ben Ross
Storm Billy Slater
Titans Nate Myles (Co-captain)
Warriors Steve Rapira
Wests Tigers Lote Tuqiri
NB: The Rabbitohs have elected not to nominate one individual player for this award.
Telstra will give $5,000 to the winner and $5,000 to their favourite charity.