Doing Maleny proud at the annual championships

By Kirra Livingstone

THE 2023 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships is right around the corner, and three Maleny athletes out of their team of four will be defending their age category’s gold medals in surf boat rowing.

Maleny rowers Mason Lough, Matthew Eggins, Sean Cauley and Buderim rower Tom Barrett are looking to triumph in their event, after winning the under 19s race in 2020/2021 and again in the under 23s in 2021/2022.

Their coaches, Dave Lough and Gary ‘Hound’ Tanner have trained with the boys, except for Tom Barrett, for five years and have continued to develop their talent, displayed through their results.

“Their coach Dave Lough, Mason’s dad, lives in Maleny too and he is an Australian Champion rower himself…he’s been their inspiration and motivation to get into rowing,” mother of Matthew Eggins, Jocelyn Eggins said.

“[Gary] put in countless hours driving to pick them all up and to get their training boat up to the Baroon Pocket Dam for them and waiting out the session… before dropping them all home again!

“He certainly went above and beyond, the boys have consistently trained over the past five years… three sessions per week in the gym and at least twice a week in the surf boat rowing at the beach.”

The surf boat rowers are a part of the Maroochydore SLSC, and in between their dedicated training, they also patrol Maroochydore beaches as surf life savers.

The championship, also known as ‘The Aussies’, is being held in Perth from March 25 to April 2 and mum Jocelyn Eggins said the team have been working tirelessly to get to this point.

“It’s been an enormous commitment, but they recognise they wouldn’t be where they are without the efforts of their coaches who believed in and helped them reach their dream to be aussie champions!” she said.