Shannon Eckstein takes time out to pass on handy hints to Tannum juniors, who hung on every word the five-time world champion uttered.
Shannon Eckstein takes time out to pass on handy hints to Tannum juniors, who hung on every word the five-time world champion uttered. Mike Richards

Champion surf life saver inspires Tannum juniors

A SEVEN-time ironman champion, five-time world champion, and the man, when it comes to everything surf sports, Shannon Eckstein is a hero to nearly every budding young athlete involved in Surf Life Saving across Australia.

For our local club, if Tannum Sands' aspiring juniors hadn't liked Eckstein before last weekend, they do now.

Spending the day on the beach coaching our future stars, Eckstein found himself not only being admired by his students, but admiring them in return for relentless effort, and even saw potential.

"They all swim very well. The club is obviously at a disadvantage having a lack of surf," Eckstein said.

Finding the beach and surrounding area a treat, Eckstein admits it is not usually on his destinations to visit.

In fact, the trip to coach at the beach was arranged after a similar visit to Bundaberg, to which a number of locals travelled for handy hints.

"We have done a few of these and did one in Bundaberg and a few Tannum kids were there," Eckstein said.

"I had the week off, so I came up. Things like this are important to keep you enthusiastic.

"With young kids it keeps you motivated."

If Tannum Sands juniors one day end up following in the footsteps of Shannon Eckstein, they will never forget the day he graced their beach.