St George Illawarra Dragons captain Ben Creagh has been named as a finalist for the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal for his work in the community.
Red V Members and supporters can vote anytime from now until midnight on Wednesday, 10 September.
The winner will be announced at the One Community Awards held at Sydney’s Carriageworks on Thursday, 25 September.
The University of Wollongong junior was runner-up for the Ken Stephen’s Medal last season and is actively involved in in various community activities off the field.
Creagh co-founded the Athlete Education Foundation and Graduates of League program at the University of Wollongong after firsthand knowledge of experiencing the difficulties in juggling a university course with the rigors of NRL training in 2011.
The Dragons in partnership with the UOW, supported eight players initially and this year the program is in the midst of employing over 45 peer tutors supporting 30 athletes at UOW.
The results to date have been outstanding, with failure rates dropping from 40% to 2%, whilst the program itself now nationally sponsored by the NRL
Creagh received the RLPA award for Education in 2012 in recognition for his great work in co- founding ‘Graduates of League’ and his role in encouraging others, players and kids to value education.
In line with this role, he has been instrumental in supporting the new resource NRL Stats Attack, a Maths resource which is used by Dragons Community staff.
The Dragons skipper also recently co-founded Smartfox Education, a small community education / after school tuition centre at the Jubilee Community Centre in Kogarah.
The centre is a collaboration with senior educational consultants and academics that provides affordable high quality tuition in the Dragons local community.
Creagh attends the centre each week inspiring many young students to excel beyond expectations.
A further example of Creagh’s passion and enthusiasm is his support of Rugby League Reads and most recently his assistance in the promotion at the NRL’s launch of ‘Footy Fables’.
Creagh is additionally in his fourth year as an Ambassador for ‘The DisabiIity Trust’ supporting kids in the ‘Score Dragons’ program, an after school rugby league sports program for players with an intellectual disability.
This Dragons initiative now sees the Score Dragons team play in the Illawarra South Coast junior league, whereby inclusiveness is highlighted and emphasized each weekend.
Furthermore, the second-rower turned prop was named an Australia Day Ambassador last season in addition to being a three-time recipient of the Club’s ‘Player of the Year’ Medal (2007, 2009, 2010).