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Lead with your actions: Granville's community pride

Whether it’s a wave to the stands on game day, a smile and chat while out and about or arriving at their school for a pre-planned visit, it’s no doubt that students from Townsville Community Learning Centre have a real-life hero in Jake Granville.

The veteran North Queensland Toyota Cowboys hooker, and all-round fan favourite, has been a special part of the school’s tight-knit community during his almost decade long commitment as their Adopt-a-Cowboy.

The seed was planted in 2015 when the school – which caters for students with severe intellectual disability and multiple impairments – became Granville’s Adopt-a-School under the club’s flagship community program, presented by Bravus Mining & Resources.


Visiting the school four times per year to inspire and encourage students, Granville quickly settled into the school community and extended his support far beyond club requirements.

A regular on campus, Jake attends leadership badge presentations, milestone events and other activities in his own time, sending video messages of support when schedules clash.


Maybe TCLC is a good luck charm....Jake comes for a visit on Tuesday and the Cowboys have a win the same week?!!...

Posted by Townsville Community Learning Centre on Sunday, March 26, 2023

It’s an approach that has left an indelible mark on students, staff and families at the school.

“It’s fantastic to see some of the children who are now up here in year 12, Jake knows them and remembers their name, which shows how committed he is to the kids at this school,” Townsville Community Learning Centre deputy principal Steve Leese said.

“When he started here he was only in his 20s, so I would think it would’ve been a big step for him, and to come in and just see how much these kids can do, give them an opportunity to show what they can do and give the kids a voice to reach their full potential… Jake really encourages that with all of our kids.

“Jake is always willing to get in and give things a go, he’s not shy about making mistakes with the kids, he learns from them, and the kids learn so much from him as well.”

A friend to many at the school, Granville furthers his close relationship through organisations such as Bentley Farm Disability Support and Respite where TCLC students often spend time away from home.


What an exciting day we had today🤠🏈 Our day started with a trip to Bunnings Warehouse Australia to organise the...

Posted by Bentley Farm - Disability Support & Respite - Townsville on Thursday, March 23, 2023

Dropping in to help out with a range of activities, he’s often seen simply spending time around the farm and making the young people’s visits even more special.

Building a legion of admiring fans, Granville is often seen at Cowboys home games heading over to meet the kids in the crowd – who reciprocate the unwavering support through their absolute love of the Cowboys.

For Mr Leese, Granville is a shining example of the impact players can have as role models on people of all ages.

“The amount of work the Cowboys do in the community is fantastic, and Jake is just an exemplar for what NRL players can do,” he said.

“It provides a wholistic support for our kids when they’re hearing the same messages about the Cowboys Way, trying your best, and listening to your coach - or as we say, your teacher - and that really resonates with them.

“The way he delivers it, he’s so down to earth, he remembers a kid’s name and he remembers things, and that just means a lot to our students and our staff as well.


Wishing a very Happy Birthday 🎈 to one of our incredible Community Ambassadors, Jake Granville! 🎉 Thank you for your...

Posted by Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia on Monday, February 6, 2023

“It does mean a lot, Townsville Community Learning Centre loves Jake, and we want to keep him for as long as he’s with the Cowboys, we want him to be part of our TCLC community.”

Jake Granville is the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 2023 Ken Stephen Medal nominee, in recognition of his extensive and impactful service to the North Queensland community.

Cowboys members and fans can now vote for Jake for the Ken Stephen Medal, with the winner of the fan vote earning $2,500 to give back to their Junior Rugby League Club and a Charity, and automatically becoming the fourth finalist.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.