The little girl who stole KP's heart and a birthday she'll never forget

The little girl who stole KP's heart and a birthday she'll never forget

Meet Amaya.

She's the four-year-old who has captured Kalyn Ponga's heart.

The smiley Newcastle local first met Ponga at a fan day in Maitland at the start of the year and their bond has grown from there.

Having learned that Amaya is about to celebrate her birthday, Ponga decided to give the junior league player a day she'll never forget.

A guest at the nib Newcastle Knights' training session this week, Ponga presented Amaya with a 'KP official Steeden headgear' and cupcakes to mark the occasion.


The friendship the pair have struck up is a heart-warming story.

According to Amaya's mother, Miquita Clarke, what started as a family visit to a Knights fan day, grew into a special tale.

"She was like 'he wears headgear just like me'. I'd say she was obsessed," Miquita said.

"Our son's favourite is Mitchell Pearce so she had to have her favourite. Later in the school holidays we went to the Members clinic and she got to Kalyn's one and just watched him.

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"She went up and had a chat and he wanted to do little relay things with her and he encouraged her to have a go. She must've been really smiley because he seemed to really appreciate it.

"I took photos that day and I put them up on her wall and I took a photo of that and put it on Instagram and I didn't really expect anything of it ... and he commented straight back that he remembered her and it was great she had them on her wall and it went from there."

Ponga also didn't leave the catch-up empty handed with Amaya sharing her art book dedicated to the Knights fullback with him.

The pair spent time flicking through the book which featured photos and drawings of the two.


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The family has been gobsmacked Ponga has so willingly taken time out of his day to make their little girl feel special.

Amaya's father, Mathew Clarke, added; "I don't think it's the sort of thing that would happen at any other club. It's the sort of thing that culturally has been part of this club since the early days.

"It's good we have a young fella here now who is going to be a superstar of the game but obviously still grounded."


The Club prides itself on being active in the community and cherishes the bond it shares with their supporters.

Mathew believes, having players like Ponga, who are so forthcoming with their time, only strengthens the relationships between the players and supporters.

"It's really important for the kids in this community," Mathew said.

"Rugby league is a big part of this community.

"The fact that a little four-and-a-half-year-old, who is having her first run around with Morpeth this year, can be friends with a guy who could play for Australia, could be an immortal, could be anything, it's amazing."