Power of a parental bond

19:37, Aug 20 2014
RAISING THE BAR: Father and son national powerlifting champions Sebastian "Bassy" Mahon, left, and Andy Mahon.

Fishing, hunting, camping, there are many hobbies that can bond a father and son.

For a Southland father and son duo, it is the sport of powerlifting.

Andy Mahon has been a force in the powerlifting ranks since he started the sport in the early 2000s, having won numerous national titles.

Just last month he delivered a career highlight when he claimed a bronze medal at the world championships in South Africa in the under-105kg squat.

He lifted a mammoth 315kg and to give it a bit of perceptive, that lift was close to squatting the weight of the All Blacks front row.

The 315kg mark broke his own Commonwealth record and is now determined for a gold or silver coloured medal come the 2015 world championships in Finland next year.


But there something else that has Andy glowing with pride at the moment.

It is the other Mahon who is impressing in powerlifting ranks, that has him the most excited - his 15-year-old son Sebastian or Bassy as he is prefers to be called.

Bassy competed in his first national championships this month and, not to be out done by his father, he also returned with national titles and a New Zealand record to boot.

At just 15, Bassy competed in the sub-junior under-18 66kg division - against competitors a couple of years older - and picked up a gold medal and New Zealand record.

His father's impressive powerlifting abilities have certainly been handed down.

"We've got the gym in our shed, so he's always been playing around a bit," Andy said.

"He'd been doing a few weights and asked if he could have a go. I don't like to have him lifting too much at that age but he competed in the Southland/Otago champs and qualified and then went to the New Zealand champs. He's done really well, so I'm really proud of him."

It was a busy weekend for Bassy when he claimed his first national powerlifting title in Christchurch.

The day after he won the national powerlifting title he was back in Invercargill playing rugby for the Southland Boys' High School Blue team in the under-15 final against a fellow Southland Boys' team.

His success in Andy and Bassy Mahon were two of five Southland lifters who won titles at the 2014 national championships.

The others were Bronwyn Stevens, Ashley Templeton and Cameron Andrews.

Stevens won gold in the under-63kg open division, Templeton gold in the junior under-63kg grade and Andrews gold in the sub-junior under-93kg division.

The Southland Times