Cowboys supporters have the opportunity to vote for Gavin Cooper to become the next NRL player to be awarded the Ken Stephen Medal before 9am Monday 19 August.

The NRL's Ken Stephen Medal is annually awarded to a player for their achievements on the field and commitment to community projects off field. 

Cooper lives in Townsville with wife Tenille and sons Archie and Reggie, and is a local business owner, club leader and role model within the community and rugby league.

Originally from Murgon, Queensland, Gavin ‘Coops’ Cooper moved to Townsville in 2005 after signing with the Cowboys and made his debut the following year.

After 18 games with the Cowboys he moved south for a stint and returned to Townsville in 2011 to join the North Queensland side again, now an accomplished back-rower.

Cooper had an immediate impact, awarded the Cowboys’ Club Person of the Year for his on-field efforts and off-field community work and went on to become the Cowboys’ ninth life member in 2018.

Daniel Morcombe Foundation ambassador Gavin Cooper, wife Tenille and sons Archie and Reggie.
Daniel Morcombe Foundation ambassador Gavin Cooper, wife Tenille and sons Archie and Reggie.

On-field achievements

Since 2011, Cooper has built an on-field reputation of being reliable, hardworking and dedicated, consistently playing an average 22 games per season since re-signing.

He entered the 2016 season a 10-year NRL veteran and a key member of coach Paul Green’s leadership group.

Now an elder statesman of the team, Cooper celebrated his 300th NRL game in Round 17 this year as one of the best try-scoring forwards of his generation. 

Gavin Cooper high-fives teammate and co-captain Jordan McLean.
Gavin Cooper high-fives teammate and co-captain Jordan McLean.

Commitment to community projects

Off-field, Cooper's reputation is built on the same leadership qualities he displays on the field.

His energy and enthusiasm, his work for children’s charities, and his messages around education, healthy habits and positive behaviour, have made him a favourite within the community.

As the grassroots level, Cooper is an ambassador for his JRL club Murgon Mustangs and takes every opportunity to engage with young people inspired by his career.

Cooper’s connection to the younger generation is further evident in his commitment to the Cowboys’ Adopt-a-School program, a long-term initiative involving North Queensland school communities.

During his visits, Cooper leads the classroom in sporting activities or important conversations about health, education and respect.

As an ambassador for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Cooper uses his influence off the field to promote the work and mission of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.

Through his ambassadorship, Cooper aims to educate children and young people to ensure their safety in a physical and online environment.

Gavin and Tenille Cooper supporting Daniel Morcombe Foundation's fundraiser, Dance for Daniel.
Gavin and Tenille Cooper supporting Daniel Morcombe Foundation's fundraiser, Dance for Daniel.

Cooper regularly supports various fundraising activations, lending his profile and support to raise funds for many charities.

Earlier this year, Cooper, along with teammates Michael Morgan and Jake Granville, got behind fundraising efforts by charity Sisters of the North to raise funds for flood-affected farmers. 

Cooper is also an enthusiastic advocate of Support Local Townsville since October 2017; an initiative that supports the local Townsville community via social media channels.

Show your support

Voting for the 2019 Ken Stephen Medal will close 9am on Monday 19 August >>> make yours count now!

The medallist will be announced during Grand Final week, with voting now open on NRL.com providing fans the opportunity to select the nominee they feel deserves to be a finalist.

The player with the highest number of votes will be included as one of four finalists announced next month.