David Klemmer is among the top 10 elite Australian athletes vying for the Philips Sports Dad of the Year award to be announced on Father's Day on Sunday, September 1.
The award showcases the contribution Australia's sporting elite make to their families both on and off the field.
Now in its eleventh year, the Philips Sports Dad of the Year will highlight 10 elite athletes across a range of sports, giving insights into how they juggle fatherhood with their sporting commitments.
This year's nominated Sports Dads will be profiled on sportsdads.com.au which will include questions and answers from the players about their families, as well as some comments from the athletes' family.
All voters have the opportunity to win special prizes for their own father this Father's Day, with the winning Philips Sports Dad of the Year receiving $5,000 to donate to their charity of choice and David’s is a donation to the Mark Hughes Foundation.
This year’s finalists are rugby league Immortal in waiting Cameron Smith, NSW Origin stars James Maloney from the Panthers and our very own David Klemmer, Tigers and Kiwi legend Benji Marshall, Souths’ stalwart and favourite John Sutton and Cowboys great Matt Scott.
The NRL stars will be joined by AFL champions Jack Darling, a West Coast premiership winner and Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury. Boomers and Utah Jazz star Joe Ingles and Test cricketer Matthew Wade round out a strong field.
Voting closes on Tuesday, August 27, and the Philips Sports Dad of the Year winner will be announced on Father's Day.
David Klemmer bio:
Partner’s name: Chloe
Children’s names: Cooper 6, Jaxon 4 & David John 2
Charity: Mark Hughes Foundation
Big Dave Klemmer, all 200cm or six foot six of him, signed with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs as a 15-year-old and has risen to become one of the game’s premier enforcers.
The big man played more than 100 games for the Bulldogs since his debut in 2013 before becoming one of Newcastle Knights’ most prized recruits in the Hunter club’s proud history before the start of this season.
Since his debut, Klemmer has been a mainstay of the Kangaroos and NSW Origin forward packs since 2014, playing 15 times for his country and 14 times for the Blues, including being an integral part of the last two Origin series wins.
His charging runs have quickly seen big Dave become fan favourite at McDonald Jones Stadium among the Knights’ faithful.
Away from football, Dave has his hands full with three young boys. “Everything I do is for my kids,” Dave says.
“I didn’t have much when I was a little boy so to be able to do a job I love and provide for my family is everything I’ve dreamed of. I love being a dad, it brings me so much joy.”
His wife Chloe went onto say; “Dave always has a smile on his face around the kids. It doesn’t matter if he’s had a tough day at training or coming off a disappointing loss, he never brings that onto the boys.
Have you found it hard spending time away from the kids during your football commitments, in particular Origin and Test commitments?
Yes, it’s hard not being around them. I’m usually OK for the first couple of days but then it gets to me. Every day we’re Facetiming and I’m checking in to make sure they’re not misbehaving for their mum! - David
On game days, do you like to relax with the kids or do you try to keep away from the family?
I normally take the kids down to the park and kick the footy around, rough them up. When we get home I put a movie on. They lie next to me on the couch, we fall asleep and all wake up together to get ready for the game. - David
What’s the best thing about being a dad?
Making them proud. I know they look up to me, so it’s something I take seriously. I love teaching them little things each day about life and what to expect. All the boys love their footy too. I try to get them down to training or in the sheds after games as often as possible. - David
With 3 boys aged 6 and under I guess you’re wresting a lot….what do you enjoying doing with them in your downtime?
Two things – knee footy and fishing! If you have noticed both of my knees are always scrapped and bandaged it’s because of carpet burns from home, nothing to do with the NRL! - David
Do the boys enjoy being involved in your work (footy), training & game days?
They love it! As they have gotten older they’ve started getting annoyed when they have to go to school and I head off to training. They look up to the boys as well and think they’re best mates with them all. They love the Saifiti boys at Newcastle and Cameron Smith, which is a bit left field. Every time he comes on TV they say “Dad there’s Smitty from the Stormies!” - David
Tell us about Chloe and how amazing she is….you guys have been together since high school?
Chloe is the glue that holds us all together. She does everything for us and is rock solid. I couldn’t imagine life without her. - David
Tell us about some of your family duties?
I mow the lawns and try to chip in with any handy work required, though I’m no good at it. I enjoy cooking dinner because I get to eat half of it while I’m doing it! I also enjoy sitting down and doing Cooper’s homework with him, making sure he actually does it. - David
How has the family enjoyed the new move to Newcastle?
We were all a bit nervous at first, but everyone loves it. The Newcastle community has been great to us, we love living near the water as well. It’s a great place to raise our boys. - David
What do you enjoy doing as a family?
We love going to the beach and fishing. Last year we went up to the Gold Coast for a couple of weeks which was awesome…the kids love the theme parks up there. I am planning on taking everyone back to Queensland again once this footy season has wrapped up. - David
What makes Dave such a great father?
There are a lot of things, but the thing which stands out most is he tries to include them in everything he does. He will do anything for them and tries to make the impossible possible. - Chloe
What makes your dad so great?
He always plays footy with me out the back and we practice our kicks. Cooper
I like to train with Dad and see all his friends - Jaxon
I love daddy - DJ
Do you enjoying watching dad play footy?
Yes, I tell Dad to do big tackles - Cooper
Yes because I want him to score a try! - Jaxon
Who’s your favourite Footy player?
Always Dad. Except when I am kicking goals then I am Cameron Smith - Cooper
Daddy! And Kalyn Ponga - Jaxon
Daddy!!! - DJ