Aquis Titans front-rower Luke Douglas has completed a remarkable week by winning the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal award for his unselfish and generous contribution to the community.
the coveted Ken Stephen Medal, presented by Telstra and named after the former long serving NSWRL officials, recognises the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on field, but also contributed to community projects off-field s’s service to community each year.
It has been won by Johnathan Thurston, Nathan Hindmarsh, Peter Sterling, Sam Thaiday, Andrew Ettingshausen and the Titans’ Preston Campbell.
Douglas only a week earlier won the Titans’ Paul Broughton Medal as the club’s player of the year and in between fitted in a belated honeymoon with wife Adele who he married the day after the team’s first game of 2015, the trial match against the Warriors in Toowoomba.
They had to cut their honeymoon in Bali short after the medal presentation was rescheduled to the Dally M awards night instead of this Friday’s NRL One Community Awards.
Aquis Titans CEO Graham Annesley provided this fitting tribute to Douglas’ professionalism and community spirit.
“Luke is the epitome of everything that’s good about our game,” he said.
“He is a quiet, unassuming, reluctant hero who works hard both on and off the field to give back to the community at every opportunity.
“He doesn’t seek recognition or reward for the contribution he makes helping those less fortunate but it’s great to see his efforts honored with the Ken Stephen Medal. Everyone at the Titans is extremely proud of him as I’m sure is everyone associated with the game.”
Luke is well known for having the community at the forefront of everything he does, ranging from asking his wedding guests to, instead of providing gifts, make donations to a trust he is setting up to assist young sports people who need aid, to being instrumental in a partnership between the Titans and the Down Syndrome Association of Queensland.
The driving force behind Luke’s extensive involvement with the disabled community is in honour of his late mother, Trish, who worked as a teacher’s aide for disabled children. During the summer months, Luke spends his time teaching disabled children how to surf.
Luke is also an active participant in multiple aspects of the junior rugby league community. He coaches an under-13s team for the Burleigh Bears, is an ambassador for the Titans’ Junior Rugby League Ambassador Program and frequently visits his local Yamba Junior Rugby League club, the Lower Clarence Magpies to provide moral support.
Luke continues to be an upstanding role model for the younger players on the Titans team, and leads by example when it comes to the dedication and responsibility required when conducting community visits.
Luke’s award comes ahead of Friday’s (2 October) NRL Community and Player Awards in Sydney, which honour and celebrate the grassroots volunteers, teachers and clubs who work tirelessly to keep the game thriving within their community.
The awards will be live streamed online from 7pm via www.nrl.com.au/communityawards.