St George Illawarra's coaches aren’t the only ones that Corey Norman takes advice from.
As Norman has happily discovered, his friends at Pass it on Clothing & Co aren’t shy when it comes to offering some words of wisdom.
Norman, who is one of four Ken Stephen Medal finalists, has been taking on that advice since 2018 when he began volunteering his time at Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD and in Parramatta, helping to clothe the homeless.
And in return they aren’t backward in coming forward in giving him advice about his footy.
The 27-year-old said it his involvement with Pass it on Clothing & Co had been a real eye-opener to just how privileged he is.
"Chris Vagg (Pass it on Clothing & Co, Founder) told me about a year ago to come down with James Segeyaro. A lot of the people here are league fans so us just showing up, having a laugh and listening to their stories helps them a lot," Norman said.
"Sometimes we bring down a footy and they tell me, you should do this, you should do that, you need to do this. They're probably right on a lot of it so it's a bit of a laugh.
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"I've never done something like this before so when I got down here and realised how much of an impact I was having on people's lives, it made me appreciate things a lot more and realise how lucky I really am."
The 2019 Ken Stephen Medallist will be announced during the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final in Sydney, with the four finalists recognised at the 2019 Dally M Awards.
At the beginning of August, through NRL.com, fans had the opportunity to vote for the nominee they felt deserved to be a finalist and the player with the highest number of votes was to be included as one of four finalists for 2019.
The broader rugby league community made their voices heard with almost 19,000 votes logged across the fifteen nominees. Norman registered the highest number of votes, making him the ‘People’s Choice’.
A panel of experts from across the game selected the remaining three finalists and the eventual winner.
Vagg, said Noman being crowned the ‘People’s Choice’ didn’t surprise him one bit knowing first-hand the connections the Dragons playmaker has made at Pass it on Clothing & Co alone.
"It’s no surprise, Corey has been great here," Vagg said.
"This is a space where there's no p’s and q's and Corey fits that really nicely and he gives so much to so many.
"It's really nice for the people here who see this icon up on screen then they see him here interacting with everyone.
"The initiative started back in 2016. We didn't want to put the clothing into the clothing bins as you usually do and so we thought another way to do it was to go direct to people who need it most."
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In addition to his support at Pass it on Clothing & Co, Norman has also been active in attending local junior league clubs, school assemblies, NRL community programs, community events and training experiences.
In seeking any opportunity where he can assist or become involved in community initiatives the five-eighth said his Ken Stephen nomination was a wonderful surprise. But it’s one he doesn’t expect plaudits for.
"Jeez my mum must have done a lot of voting," Norman said.
"There's so many players that do a lot in the NRL for the community so being a top four finalist is an honour. But we don't do it for the recognition.
"My contribution is more for the community then it is for me. I reckon I get a lot more out of it than they do."
The 2019 Ken Stephen Medal is proudly supported by wealth, property and well-being consultancy, One Solutions.