Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Woodchopping champ goes for one last victory -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

David Foster has achieved just about everything there is to do in the sport of wood chopping - and
now he's on the comeback trail after a serious back injury.


HEATHER EWART, PRESENTER: He's arguably Australia's most successful sporting champion, winning 21
consecutive world titles. David Foster has achieved just about everything there is to do in the
sport of woodchopping and now he's on the comeback trail after a serious back injury. He's
competing against medical advice in an effort to capture one last victory, and that's a world title
with his son. Martin Cuddihy reports from Tasmania.

DAVID FOSTER: There's that passion, and it's been never to do with money; it's been that honour and
glory of winning a world title. Those opportunities don't come around much.

MARTIN CUDDIHY, REPORTER: David Foster is the heavyweight champion of woodchopping. At 197
centimetres and more than 150 kilos, he's won over 1,700 championships.

DAVID FOSTER: I would have my victory speech made up before I left home. That's how confident I was
in myself and that's how much I knew that I was probably that good.

TONY SCOTT: He is massive and that big frame, and you can just see the kids, the adults and
everyone just look in awe at this man as he goes through a log of wood and it's unbelievable to

MARTIN CUDDIHY: David Foster's massive frame hasn't always served him well. He can still remember a
tough childhood.

DAVID FOSTER: When I was a kid growing up I was a fat kid and my nickname was "Tonne". Copped all
the fat jokes. So, I've worked hard and with an ambition to be the best in the world for as long as
I could.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: The taunts drove him to succeed and become the undisputed king of woodchopping, but
there's something missing, something that's driving David Foster well into his 50s, and that's
another world title, this time with his son, Stephen.

They're training in a shed just outside the small town of La Trobe in Tasmania's north-west.

DAVID FOSTER: Stephen has really matured, he's strong as an ox and, you know, we got a good chance
this year.

STEPHEN FOSTER: I've been around all my life, so I don't know anything different, really. So, yeah,
no, I enjoy it.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: Their pet event is the double-handed cross-cut saw. That's where two men slice
through 60 centimetres of wood in less than 20 seconds. It's faster than a chainsaw.

DAVID FOSTER: I've won that world title 21 years straight, 11 years with dad, 10 years with my
brother, Peter.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: It's the title the Fosters want to win at the Sydney Royal Easter Show next month,
so every afternoon when Stephen knocks off work, he turns up to his dad's place to slog it out.

DAVID FOSTER: The best one takes the pool and I do that, so I consider that I'm probably ...

STEPHEN FOSTER: It's his last year, anyway. Because I am stronger now, so, yeah.

DAVID FOSTER: (Laughs) In your dreams. You reckon you're stronger. You're not. But - no, it's a
team effort.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: They've come close to winning before, finishing second a number of times in what's
known as the "Wimbledon of Woodchopping".

STEPHEN FOSTER: And if it happens, it happens, but, yeah, you know, you get sort of excited about
it now. You just wanna get it over and done with, yeah.

DAVID FOSTER: If you believe in fairytales, it'd be fantastic. I'm kind of a fairytale believer. It
would fulfil your life.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: He's only 27, but Stephen has been in training for more than two decades. His
father's always harboured high hopes.

DAVID FOSTER: Woodchopping is very unique. It's a family sport and I think there's a big chance
that maybe Stephen and I will be world champions.

TONY SCOTT: To win the title with his son, he'd be the first person to win a world title with his
father, his brother and his son and I believe in any sport.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: Tony Scott is a former RSL State President and family friend. He and David Foster
spent almost two decades raising money for charity.

TONY SCOTT: Look, I think deep down it'd be the ultimate. Like, he's won over 180-odd world titles
but I think this would be one of the highest ones out of the lot.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: The giant axeman is lucky to be still competing. A serious injury went close to
ending his career. He ruptured a disk in his back and spent seven weeks in bed.

DAVID FOSTER: You're in bed on your own and all these negative thoughts come through your mind, and
I tell you what, that was a big thing, being able to work out of your head, you know, just that
depression and stuff, you know. So, whether I'll be able to walk again, whether I'll be able to
even maintain some sort of life, you know.

TONY SCOTT: He made sure that he did what the doctors told him to do because he wanted to come back
and he's come back, he's come back as strong as he was before the injury and he's winning titles

MARTIN CUDDIHY: So as the Sydney Royal Easter show approaches, the training and the excitement
builds, and despite losing by just five 100ths of a second last year, the Fosters reckon 2011 is
their year.

STEPHEN FOSTER: It's good to just - yeah, to chop in that - to saw in that world title, really,
it's pretty good for our family. It's our, you know, tradition really.

DAVID FOSTER: I have one son, so I don't know how you can put words on that, you know, what it
would be like to win a world title with him.

HEATHER EWART: Martin Cuddihy reporting there from Tasmania.