Sydney Roosters Rugby League player Shaun Kenny Dowall has won the inaugural Downlow Medal ahead of a star studded list of players from Rugby League, Football, Rugby Union and Australian Rules Football.
The New Zealand born back earned the most votes thanks to his promotion of family values and his tireless work for the community based organisation, Neighbourhood Watch.
The prestigious Downlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians.
Kenny Dowall narrowly edged out Gold Coast Titans player David Taylor and Karmichael Hunt from the Queensland Reds, as well as fellow Roosters backline maestro Michael Jennings.
“I can’t believe how I feel right now, I’ve got no words to describe it. It’s just an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as your Ben Cousins’ and your Todd Carney’s” said Kenny Dowall.
“But I’ve got to give credit to all the boys at the Roosters and all the fans on social media. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you guys and I couldn’t have done it without you”.
Kenny Dowall trailed Hunt and Taylor at the beginning of the season but consistent work off the field throughout the latter half of the year kept his name on everyone’s mind and earned him a strong presence on social media, which converted into votes.
Awards host and former AFL star Ben Cousins highlighted the uniqueness of the new award.
“It’s the first of its kind. It creates bragging rights for a full year for one of the codes and hopefully it will see players continue to astound us with their off field exploits for years to come”.
As well as the prestigious trophy, the victor was presented with a long list of prizes.
- Two nights twin share in the famous government lodgings in Long Bay, on Sydney’s beautiful eastern beaches, including one complimentary interactive spa experience and one complimentary individual portrait photography session.
- A three month volunteer internship with an Australian federal service agency.
- One complimentary RSA course from a nationally accredited training provider.
- 12 month cab charge.
“Wow, I don’t know which one to take first” Kenny Dowall exclaimed “I’m thinking of the Long Bay option and normally I’d take the missus but after the season we’ve had at the Roosters, maybe Jennings will go with me”.