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King humbled by Ken Stephen Medal nomination

Cameron King turned the negatives of an injury-ridden career into his opportunity to back to the community.

Parramatta have recognised his dedication by nominating the hooker for the 2018 Ken Stephen Medal, awarded each year to an NRL player for excelling both on and off the field.

The 26-year-old hooker helps community programs within the game as well as charity and community initiatives.

King, who is out injured with a grade two ligament sprain, is hoping to be back in action in round 22 to finish the season strongly as he is off contract and keen to land a new deal for 2019.

His career at the Dragons, Cowboys and Eels has been plagued by a string of injuries. King said the task of overcoming the mental and physical challenge of being out of the game has been made easier from the perspective he has gained by seeing those less fortunate.

"It's a privilege to be nominated," King said.

"It wasn't something I thought about as long as I've been involved but to be recognised is very humbling.

"Being injured a lot in my career has been tough but it has given me the opportunity to do a lot more community work than most people.

Eels hooker Cameron King.
Eels hooker Cameron King. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"I have always turned that negative into a positive and I'm grateful I was able to give back to rugby league because it's given me so much."

King's club commitments range from Easter and Christmas appearances at The Children's Hospital, Westmead, and Ronald McDonald House, to junior clubs visits along with his involvement in the #whyiplay campaign and Parramatta Mission.

He is also an ambassador for disability services provider Northcott, has been part of the NRL Road to Regions campaign and regularly hosts an #askking forum on Twitter to engage with the fans and the wider community.

"Growing up I never thought I'd have the chance to give back but I'm lucky with the position I'm in now that I am able to do that.

"And any chance I get to give back I'm more than happy to put my hand up."

One commitment the 26-year-old is particularly passionate about is his role as an ambassador for Northcott, which is Australia's largest disability provider that aims for kids and adults to reach their full potential while building their confidence and offering them opportunities.

King visited Northcott on Wednesday where he was taught how to play wheelchair rugby league, which he said may be rougher than the original game itself.

Cameron King oversees a wheelchair rugby league game at Northcott.
Cameron King oversees a wheelchair rugby league game at Northcott. ©

"I'm very excited to be a part of Northcott and helping them out in any way that I can," King said.

"We had an awesome day playing wheelchair footy, it was a great way to get everyone involved and it was just nice to get out in the sun and do some physical activity.

"It was a lot more physical than I thought it was going to be though, whether it was accidental or not I'll never know but they cleaned me up a few times."

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels 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.

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