Caradh O’Donovan

Irish Karate Champion


Don’t miss listening to the National Karate Champion and Former World European Kickboxing champion on this explosive episode. She talks about her childhood dream of representing Ireland at the Olympics, difficulties she encountered from sport governing bodies while competing at highest level, what she does to right those wrongs and how sponsorship is of massive importance to an elite athlete.

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This Interview was conducted by Elaine Stenson, Radio broadcaster at Classichitsradio & Sunshine1068fm.

Episode Quotes

“From a very young age I realised that having a say is not possible in sport. Certainly, not the way the structures were, as you are expected to just go in, train, do what you are told, stay quiet, perform, win and then leave again”

“Facility wise its quite poor, I’ve never had access to a changing room, never had access to a shower and in 2021 you would think things would get better “

“For sports that are not funded without sponsorship it’s almost next to impossible to compete all the time”

“Sponsorship is one of the most important areas for an elite athlete after their talent and hard work” “If you are a martial artist or if you are in any sport that hasn’t made the cut yet, there is no pathway for you to go in and get funded” – Caradh O’Donovan

Show Notes

1.34 Presents a sport show every weekend on iRadio 4.08 World champion in Kickboxing switched to Karate in 2016

6.18 Living with Crohn’s disease flare ups

9.35 Meditation to manage stress

12.00 Founding member of ‘Global Athlete’ (a startup that improves conditions in sport for athletes)

13.50 Ambassador for Equity Sport (charity that brings about equal opportunity for all in sport)

15.30 Constant unfair treatment and covert punishments by governing body of sport

16.45 Issues in funding of less mainstream sports

18.10 Discrimination through the two-tiered sports system

19.20 Political agenda rather than a transparent system for sports and athletes

21.40 High performance elite athletes ignored due to profile of sport

22.35 Gender equality issues in Kickboxing

25.08 My sport hugely affected due to Covid

26.02 No specifics in health and safety outlined by IOC for athletes going to the Olympics

28.10 Loosing double income when competing, due to travel and inability to work

28.30 Favorite 5 brands

32.45 Long term plans and athlete transition program