Warriors player Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad surprises youngster with new shoes

  • 09/07/2017
Takiri Wikitera after the surprise
Takiri Wikitera chuffed after the surprise act of altruism from Warriors player Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Photo credit: Facebook

A mother and son were left "buzzing" after Warriors player Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad surprised the teen with a pair of new sneakers he'd been admiring from afar.

Amber Wikitera and 13-year-old Takiri were at Westfield St Lukes on Friday and walked past sports store Footlocker, where, Ms Wikitera wrote on Facebook, her son stops to look at shoes every visit.

But the youngster, who was born with cerebral palsy and walks aided by crutches, can only ever window shop, Ms Wikitera told NZME: "He always wants to look, because we can never afford shoes from there."

However on Friday, as she was waiting for him to finish browsing, she saw 21-year-old Warriors player Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad approaching her with her son, who was clutching a pair of his favourite shoes.

"[Nicoll-Klokstad] says 'Hi, I just bought your son these shoes...then I balled my eyes out thinking we'd been punked- it's the sorta thing we watch on youtube, [sic]" she wrote on Facebook.

"Takiri said this guy saw Takz lookn at the shoes and said, you like those shoes? Takz said yeah, and nek minit he says he's buying them for him, even he couldn't believe it.

We're still here buzzing! [sic]"

After the initial post on Facebook where she described the league player's altruistic act, Ms Wikitera told NZME her son had endured a lifetime of operations, but was due to have one more - possibly his last - this Tuesday to correct his disability.

It turns out Nicoll-Klokstad, who debuted with the Warriors this year, has a personal connection to sufferers of a physical disability - his older brother had muscular dystrophy and passed away in 2010.

Takiri later posted a Facebook note, along with a photo of himself in the new Nike Air Max sneakers, saying he was "very lucky to have these new shoes randomly bought for me by a very generous man who saw me trying them on at Footlocker after my mum said I couldn't have them.

"He's the coolest guy and he plays for the Warriors!"

Nicoll-Klokstad said he and his family were at the mall when they saw "this little boy looking at these really nice shoes".

"I saw that unfortunately he had crutches and some kind of foot mould to support his feet," he told NZME.

He said he felt moved to buy the shoes for him.

"He just shot his eyes up and he said, 'eh?' As if I was kidding or something. But I just told him, 'Find your size and we'll go up to the counter."

When he heard that Takiri was about to endure yet another in a long line of surgeries, it "really hit home for me".

"I was really close with my brother Tyson and just to sort of give back to someone in his situation, I couldn't miss that opportunity, especially being real blessed with my job and where I am at the moment. So to be able to help a little kid like that I couldn't miss that opportunity."

Takiri is a big fan of the Warriors, and has been known to busk at Auckland markets to earn money for tickets.

The player also offered to his family tickets to the team's game next Friday.