Written by Dylan Morris (NRL.com)
The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have nominated Jake Granville for the NRL's Ken Stephen Medal, for the hooker's commitment to the North Queensland community.
Granville is a part of the Cowboys' Adopt-a-School program, proudly supported by Stockland Townsville, and visits his nominated school, the Townsville Community Learning Centre, in his own time, as well as the four times per year required of him by the Cowboys.
He is also an ambassador for Rockhampton charity Multicap, which builds housing for people living with disabilities.
The premiership-winning Cowboy's work in the community is primarily focussed on people living with disabilities, and Granville said it was a pleasure to lighten up the lives of young people.
"To come to a school like this, it brightens your day up so it's a good way to start the day," Granville said.
"They're great kids and when I turn up they embrace me and make me feel pretty special, they have great smiles on them so I enjoy them."
Multicap is a charity that Granville has embraced under his own initiative, and he's enjoyed being a part of such a worthwhile organisation.
"They're a disability organisation and I got involved with them through a friend through Rockhampton. They were opening some new units there to look after disabled people and help them get back into the community," he said.
"It's a great program to be a part of and I'm glad I could be involved."
The kids really see it as a major motivation for them, particularly around their schoolwork, if Jake takes an interest in what they're doing inside the classroom.
The star hooker said he was honoured to be nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal.
"Very honoured, the past people that have been nominated from the club, and the people that have won it. It's very humbling to be mentioned and put up for that awards, I'm just happy to be involved in these programs and work together with the community," he said.
A particular note in Granville's nomination is his commitment to visiting the Townsville Community Learning Centre, something he says is an enjoyable experience.
"I just try to get to some of the events, I think Challenge Games is next week... I usually try to get there and a few Christmas things, stuff like that," he said.
"Any little bit that I can do to brighten their day up, I'm more than happy to go to those sort of things."
Townsville Community Learning Centre deputy principal Michael Statham spoke highly of Granville, noting that the Cowboy's visits did more than put smiles on kids' faces.
"They really look forward to seeing Jake, every time he does come to school, and he does a brilliant job of interacting with the kids," Statham said.
"He's interested in what goes on inside the classroom as well so he'll do a lot of work helping out teachers inside the room on some of his visits too.
"The kids really see it as a major motivation for them, particularly around their schoolwork, if Jake takes an interest in what they're doing inside the classroom then that's certainly something that they try hard to make sure they do a good job at."