Former ASP World Champion surfer Barton Lynch still recalls the day he first met his hero and the impact it had on him as a grommet – now 59, Lynch is honoured to have the chance to do the same for an aspiring Aussie snowboarder.
Lynch will mentor 17-year-old boarder Jesse Parkinson through the Sporting Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring program.
He is one of six sporting legends, including three Olympic gold medallists, an NBA champion, and a cricket great, chosen to mentor the next generation of sporting stars.
The six rising stars will be supported with a $10,000 scholarship to go towards their training and competitions.
Lynch, the 1991 Rip Curl Pro winner and Surfing Hall of Fame member said it was a chance meeting with his hero and surfing legend Terry Richardson that inspired him to stick with the sport.
“I was side of the road hitchhiking as a kid to the Coca Cola Surfabout at Narrabeen,” Lynch said.
“Truth be known truanting school in my uniform. A blue panel van pulls up to give me a ride and I look inside and it is Terry Richardson and he is driving to the Coca Cola Surfabout to surf the heats that day.
“He says ‘where you off to grom?’ and I say ‘I’m going to watch you mate’.
“I drive to Narrabeen with my hero and spend the day with him as he competes and hang out on the sidelines watching him.
“I don’t know how many World Champions are stopping to pick up a hitchhiker on their way to compete – he has been like a father figure to me ever since.
“There has been people in my life who in a non-formal fashion were there for me and it just made all the difference.
“To be able to give a bit of that back now has got me excited.”
Lynch, who know lives in Hawaii, said he had a chance meeting with Parkinson before Covid-19 while snowboarding in Japan.
He said being asked to mentor the teen, who just won gold at the Winter Games NZ in Cardrona at the weekend, was a privilege.
“I’ve been looking at Instagram and footage and all indications are that he is a serious contender,” Lynch said.
“He might even ride himself too hard in the pursuit of perfection to achieve his goals.”
FULL LIST OF SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS AND MENTORS
– World Cup Hockey bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Claire Colwill, 18, QLD (Nat Cook OAM)
– U21 European Sailing silver medallist and youngest commercial pilot in Australia, Stefan Elliott-Shircore, 19, WA. (Steve Waugh AO)
– Five-time National Javelin Champion and Oceania Junior Record Holder, Mackenzie Mielczarek, 19, VIC (Sharon Buchanan OAM)
– Australian Junior Snowboard Champion, Jesse Parkinson, 17, QLD (Barton Lynch)
– Commonwealth Games gold medallist and dual National Cycling Champion, Alyssa Polites, 19, SA (Leisel Jones OAM)
– Australian Baseball League player and first Australian to receive an invitation to attend the Perfect Game National Showcase in the USA, Max Stagg, 18, SA (Luc Longley AM)
Originally published as Sporting Australia Hall of Fame name six new mentors and rising stars