Jaipur: Mark Mathews’ story of overcoming fear and adversity to become one of the world’s leading big wave surfers is a truly inspirational one. From being just another boy in coastal Australia who used to enjoy surfing with his mom to eventually conquering some of the biggest and heaviest waves around the world, his journey has been turbulent yet hugely successful.
So, it was only befitting that the 36-year-old joined the players at the Rajasthan Royals camp recently and shared some of that inspiration. The Australian was hosted by the players and the staff at the Marriott in Jaipur for an insightful interaction.
For someone with a hugely successful career spanning twenty years, Mark Mathews had a surprisingly child-like energy during his talk. Aptly titled ‘Life Beyond Fear’, his presentation also had an array of exhilarating videos featuring his surfing escapades along with his team around the world. At the same time, he spoke about how he was always supported by his mother in his formative years of surfing. It didn’t take too long for Red Bull to sign him up for a contract and he has never looked back ever since.
The idea of surfing being a team effort, may not have made complete sense to anyone new to the sport – until Mark threw light on his amazing support staff of rescuers and photographers who used to join him around the world. Mark also spoke about how his career took an unexpected U-turn when he met with a life-changing surfing accident off the New South Wales coast in 2016.
As a result, he ended up with a dislocated knee, major nerve damage, snapped ligaments and torn artery. While his career was on the verge of an untimely end, Mark was inspired by a young quadriplegic boy who he met during that time. He shared his thoroughly rousing story of recovery which began ever since, leaving everyone at the Royals camp spellbound at the end of it.
Mark’s evening with the Royals came to a close after a round of questions by some of the players including Jos Buttler and Steve Smith. Sanju Samson, an enthusiastic surfer himself, shot his hand up when Mark had initially asked everyone about who was into surfing. There’s no doubt that everyone at the RR camp was left more inspired than ever by his story of life beyond fear.