Kalyn Ponga wants to help those impacted by the devasting bushfires.
That’s why the nib Newcastle Knights fullback and his family are donating two unique items that mean a lot to them and putting them up for auction.
“I wanted to help out in some way,” Ponga said.
“We did donate money, but as a family we wanted to do more and thought ‘how can we help, and how can we do our part?’.
“I know there’s a couple of people in our team, not directly affecting them, but directed their families or their communities, so to us it means a lot.”
Ponga is auction two items, with all the proceeds going to a charity which is helping those in need.
The first item is his head gear from the State of Origin series opener in 2019.
It was a game Queensland won 18-14 where Ponga kicked three from four goals.
“The Maroons one’s pretty big for me,” he said.
“It’s my headgear and I love my headgear that I’ve played in and I love that arena, so to auction that is hopefully going to be huge.”
Proceeds from the head gear will be donated to NSW Rural Fire Services.
The second piece is one of only two in existence.
It’s a framed split jersey piece from his representative debut as a teen.
“Collecting Kalyn’s very first or debut worn jumpers is a proud and momentous milestone for the family,” father, Andre Ponga said.
“Each is a significant milestone, highlighting Kalyn’s achievement’s thus far.
“This piece was created to capture the memory selected in his very first Queensland and Kangaroos team as a 14 and 15-year-old in back-to-back years. He is only the second 14-year-old to ever be selected in this age year and captained the winning Queensland side in the second year.
“This is KP’s very first worn jumper on his journey and so special to us and hopefully to the eventual winning bidder. We are hoping this will generate popular interest for the auction in aid of the fire disaster sadly endured recently.
“Please bid strong to give those of need, the small we hope to generate. This is one of only two pieces. The family has the other half. On behalf of the Ponga family, I thank you for bidding and appreciate the support.”
His Queensland and Australian Schoolboys jumpers have been stitched together to make an item as unique as they get.
“My Schoolboys stuff is where it all began for me,” he said.
“It’s part of the journey. But like I said, it’s our part in helping and hopefully we raise some money and it goes towards people that need it.”
The jersey proceeds will be going to Wildlife Information Rescue Education Services (WIRES).