Caradh O'Donovan | Team Ireland Karate

Caradh O'Donovan | Team Ireland Karate

 We are joined by Irish Karate Team member and former kickboxer Caradh O’Donovan on iPredict.

We hear about Caradh’s career to date and her ambition to take part in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. Caradh who is an ambassador for Equity Sport tells her story about of court challenges which is a continuous battle.

We also hear her concerns about the lack of proper drug testing in the sport.




sport, people, bit, athletes, kickboxing, karate, anti doping, win, ireland, suppose, guess, attitude, career, world, qualification, happen, fighting, brilliant, point, technique



Hello and welcome back to play. I predict comm this week. I'm very, very delighted to be joined by Carol Donovan from Team Ireland. And we're going to hear a lot more about her story and Karen have to say firstly do my research with it about you, I knew you were involved in a lot of strings to your bow in terms of sports and all your other tangents but even my research the last week or so have been even more fascinated by that. But there's so many angles that you're working on it's remarkable career so hopefully we'll get to know a bit more about it in the next little while, but I wanted to wind the back. And I know personally when my love of sports started with my mother dragging me out to the front garden as a kid playing football almost she loves you jocks. But now against my will I wasn't really into it that much. But she dragged me out of the night Come assessed, really on their own. So where did you your love for you? Look, you grew up in Lagos. I assumed you started tried a lot of different sports when you were as a kid.



Yeah, I can't remember it a day where I didn't love sport. I think I was just born like I was a tomboy or whatever. It was kind of like a tomboy. But yet I love Barbies as well. So it was a bit of an odd choice. But yeah, I loved a lot of sport from from day one. And like I think we first crush it. Like I remember like, my parents can tell me was like on packie Bonner when I was like three like I was obsessed with them and just watching football. So it's a bit of a joke then. So I didn't play football. But um, yeah, I just love sport from from the start. And then as I got like, I tried different sports in school, like, I tried basketball, and I really liked it. But I was just too short circuit. I was never going to be going to like America to play basketball. And then I just I got involved in kickboxing then. When I was 12. And that was it like a I found my sport. It was a total like straightaway just clicked with me. So yeah, that's how it started. Is



that was it? Was it a sport you always had a bit of an interest in? Or was it just one that came available? Like I did a good bit of crowd is younger. And it was initially because the the coach came nearby to the local village and had some classes on it. And that's always an interest in it or was just kind of another one on the list to take to try it.



No, I had no clue about us. I didn't like I might definitely my mother had a panic attack. And she had to be frightened and get my face busted open. But no, it was very new. It was just happened to be someone that was at like on the street or someone that I was playing with was their brother was doing kickboxing. I thought that sounds good. But it didn't. When I look back, it doesn't really surprise me because I mean, I was always kind of fighting some sort of thing like so kind of that energy, aggressive energy and channeled it a bit better for me. And yeah, but it was completely random. And it just so happened that there was a book Boxing Club in Saigon. So that's how I got started. And it was weird because I like I was one of maybe one or two girls started with me or that was in the club at the start. So you're kind of you were like, I was on my own as a girl in the sport for a long time. But then, like now it's I'd say 5050, which is like such a big difference in the time since I started.



Yeah, no, that must have been a huge change. Starting off into a new sport. And then I suppose being the minority is probably a reflection relieve a lot of the I suppose not the battles that are too strong a little bit a little bit of imbalance over your career. You started off in a straightaway there. But do you find your love? You started doing a little bit more? Where did it? Where did the kind of the fuel come from Then where did the major passion come from to take it to the elite levels that you you? You've gone to?



And it's that Yeah, cool. Got to question. I'm not too sure. I think I was always competitive. And, and I like I have to be careful with that competitive side to me, because I tend to make almost everything a competition like my friends don't even let me play our games with them, because I just got one of those. And so yeah, I think the competitive side was always there. So once I got a taste of the first competition, I love this. And then as much as it was difficult being one of very few girls that actually helped me with confidence wise, because I was gone to these competitions at local regional level. And because the numbers were so small, I was brilliant. Like I was winning everything because I didn't have to be very many people. So there is like, I mean, you can look at that two ways, but for me that there was a bit of luck there because at that adds your confidence. And then when you feel like you're good at something and you're enjoying us, you just keep going with it. So that was like I guess the start of the competition side of us and then when I really took it up to another level because in kickboxing there's loads of different governing bodies or world Federation's so I started competing in a number, but I've been into the different ones I've competed at ones that would maybe be a lower level. And I was the world champion at 16. And I thought hi like I'm brilliant. Like this is this is the best thing ever, but I wasn't training that hard. Like I say I thought it was training hard, but you're like a big fish in a small pond. So like training for five days a week. Just wants In a day, and then that's what it took to be like the best in the world. And then all of a sudden, I started going to these more difficult competitions are called wacko kickboxing. And my first kind of I think, tasted that was just tough. Like I went straight in. I think I pulled the world champion in the quarterfinals, and I'd like to hide not my life. So I guess I should be. And that was when I came back from that I realized, this is this is what I want to do on I take this training series. And so then I just, like doubled my training and it became everything revolved around from that point,



I was just about to say that like, this is still your teens, it must have been you're probably still in school as well, at the time, it must have become you must have been like a almost a professional athlete in terms of your obsession and trading almost you must know better. Very, very little spare time.



Yeah, I did, like I put most of my time into into sport. I don't really have too many requests. But there's one thing that I could look back over my late teens and 20s. And I would say I probably should have had a bit more fun or had a bit more of a balance. I definitely have that now. But yeah, I let us completely consumed me. And as you know, initially, it was very healthy, I think, because I was just enjoying us. And you know, I hadn't won anything yet. So it wasn't that like I had a nicer wheel point where I just had to keep winning more medals or, you know, get that mindset. And then later on, it probably became a bit too imbalanced, I guess is is a way of putting this. So yeah, that like I say, if I was to go back and do it again, I probably would not commit 100% of my time towards us. And what sherlockian let you live and learn.



That's the competitive nature shining over the evidence of it. But ya know, that must have been like a like you because you and your kickboxing career like you obviously started so young, and then you just seem to from looking at your List of awards is gone, just going wow, we've literally pretty much won everything that there is to win, it must have been the balls that you must have got from that from when and born, as you said, working your way up and continue with that, that must have been given the child the competitive attitude as well, it must have been like, Wow, he must have been in a in a real in the red zones throughout that period.



Yeah, it's, it's funny, because I'm like I, I, I'm a bit I'm more proud of what I've won now than I would have been five or 10 years ago. Like back when I was winning a lot of stuff internationally. Especially at the start, nothing was really ever enough for me and I could have if you had said, you know, you've won everything that was to win in the sport, I probably have won a medal at every level in the sport, but it was never enough like it, I think that's when you get that competitive side gets a little bit too unhealthy that you just you always want more and you're it's kind of like you can almost hooked into this kind of winning and chasing medals, and then you get one. And like, the first time you win a gold medal, or even say at a World Cup. Like that feeling is brilliant, but it lasts like a day. And you know, and it's in this sport where especially in Ireland like internationally and might be a big sport, but in Ireland like nobody cares about it. So like, you win something big. And you know, that feeling you come crashing back down pretty quickly. So it's a it's a weird kind of, I guess it's a it's a weird feeling like you would I probably should have enjoyed those moments a bit more. But, uh, yeah, I spent like, even though I had a good bit of success, I probably wouldn't have been as happy or I didn't enjoy the moments as much as I should have, I think



probably using more of the the fear of losing as opposed to the joy of winning sort of that sort of mentality in a weird way.



That's, that's what it can be common. You almost like at the start, it's like you've had this goal to reach the top and to win something and then you do it and all of a sudden then you keep your expects that or you put these pressure in yourself that you're expecting yourself to keep winning, so you don't enjoy you you just relieved when you win. And then the days like I can remember World Championships where I got bronze medal, and they put the medal in the bin data database. And I was it was a nightmare like I mean it also was like to be to behave like that it was there. It was it was daft really but then I kind of I think I've changed I think I've mellowed a bit in the last few years and and I don't always like saying that because then you see somebody like that could be somebody's absolute dream to win a bronze medal and at a World Championships and to see somebody else robbers data to try and attain that it's it's not very it's not a very gracious attitude like a you know, it was probably a bit difficult to deal with and a sore loser so I don't even know where I'm going with that but I think I've got a bit sounder over the last few years. I like to thank you



like I know obviously like the sports are prettier you know, self face, their their soul, entering sports but your coaches and stuff looking back on that attitude. in a weird way, it was must have been great. Like, obviously to be so driven. But you must have been a bit of a, I don't want to put the fall in too much, you must have been a bit of a nightmare for your coaches at the same time. Were you? Like if you're there under the bronze medal match? I don't want that next.



I think I still am when I wear my way. And yeah, I mean, well, it's hard, because when I was part of the kickboxing setup, when I first came into the sport, and our team was good, but we wouldn't have been like the best team in the world and over, say, a period of 10 years, we got to go from making up the numbers to being one of the top teams in the world. So it wasn't just me with that attitude. It was, it was like the culture of I mean, I didn't just, I wasn't the only one there that that was like a common attitude in, in the, in the team or in the squad. So when new people come in, they would have watched the more established writers and, and learn fairly quickly that you don't settle for, and maybe some people think that's a good thing. But, um, it can be a good and bad thing. I think it's somewhere in between is probably the best way to be. But so from that from a coaching point of view, I don't think that was the difficult side. But I say if I was to be honest, I've always struggled with being, you know, put into certain boxes and have like, like, you know, so many routines placed upon me and not being able to do what I was told, like, I question everything. And so I am probably more like that now. So I think I say my coaches. I mean, they're happy with me, but I say I give them a few headaches,



challenging, challenging. I say, because even you look at the last and documentary with Michael Jordan. And he's kind of mellowed a little bit now, but he was a challenge to his teammates and coaches as well. But I guess ultimately, that's, that's the mentality of a winner. You have to be that self driven and particularly when it's not a team sport, you know, you're you're doing it all for yourself. It must have been like, a money. I don't know how you manage that throughout your teams, like you're, you're going all on yourself, you're coaching and then you're traveling around winning competitions, and then all you can think of is the next one, the next one, it's, it has to be I can't get my head around how you how you manage that, like, it must respect for you for be able to do that. Like that's that meant that weird mentality that you have not weird that that winning mentality is no no, it's a it's it's a winner. It's a winner, but like to be able to because like it had to be like, although you probably enjoyed it and you said you want it you probably should enjoy other aspects of your game. But at the time, your urine that Red Bulls, you're floating around, you're you're living your dream pretty much aren't you? You're pretty much professional athletes.



Yeah, it's, it was like, it was brilliant, because I think the the biggest thing for me was that I love the sport. And but, you know, sometimes I look back and think maybe I should have chosen a different sport where, you know, wouldn't have been financially so difficult. Or I would have got, you know, paid to do what I love. Because I think in sports, you know, you maybe I wouldn't have been any good at a different sport, but I'm not so sure. I think a sport seems to just be something that I can do. But, and yeah, like it's now I don't even know where I've lost my train of thought there. Anyway, so sorry, sorry, Johnson, you don't have to be again.



We'll dig it another angle again. So you've gone through the as I said, you've gone through the kickboxing circuit through your teens from starting from an early age, we pretty much went everything that the race. Where did the it's the transition across to karate, was that the Olympic dream? Or was that a case of the mentality is there's no more almost there's no more as what else to win here are where does that change from? Because I suppose it is a drastic enough change to move codes like that.



Yeah, it's, um, it was, like a combination of a few things. I think one of them would have been, I was struggling to motivate myself and kickboxing. And some of the things that I had, I guess, don't try and motivate myself in kickboxing will be switching weights or, you know, anything that would have challenged me and, and the Olympics just wasn't gonna happen for kickboxing, and I was probably sticking around for that. And I usually believes the powers that be in the sport that it was going to happen within my kind of lifetime of fighting. So when they caught then karate got announced, and that was gonna be in the Olympics. Well, which was supposed to be now but next year is Olympics. Yeah, so when that got announced, I thought, Well, look, I'll give this a go. And I didn't make the full switch for a few months. I'm still doing kickboxing karate in 2017. So I was I was doing like a couple of classes a week in karate. And then I entered the nationals. And that went quite well. And I enjoyed it. And I just thought, Well, here, look this, this could be your only shot, I may as well just move over give myself a new challenge. I'm enjoying it more. There's less stress around Thursday. Yeah, so it was a new challenge. And, and it was kind of interesting to me to kind of go back down to the bottom of a sport where urine literally, like nobody knows, yeah, you're, you're not good. And especially internationally, and then just try and climb my way up. So there was that. But really, I think the main thing was the Olympics. And I think a couple of years ago, I, I, I know less, I knew less about the Olympics and than I do now so it was like that Olympic dream I'm going for this. So this is great.



And yeah, because although the you you will know a lot more but the basic martial art knowledge I have is this, there's quite a difference between the two codes, it's not as if you're, you're automatically going to pick it up like you have to completely I suppose rethink your your technique. And even the process in terms of fighting the importance in karate is is is a lot more intensive to want to mess around. So it's a lot you don't have the ability to read an appointment straightaway, you kind of have to think more when your feet straight off. So that must have been a big transition as well. I know you're so motivated and all that and you know, when you you'll keep on learning and you'll keep on evolving your technique, but that that has to be still even for someone as talented as you that had to be a challenge.



It was



Yeah, it was a bigger challenge than initially I thought it was gonna be really yeah, cuz one of the first things that I and I was still do this, but I before I kind of guessed deciders completely I was gonna switch over, I started watching some of the best fighters in the the women's weight categories. And I thought, well, you know, a lot of it is similar, you know, the tactics are similar to Tommy, like the fighting areas quite similar. And the basic kicking and punching, slight differences. So I thought this is gonna be relatively easy. What was a big struggle? I think one of my strengths, I think in kickboxing is that I'm really strong. So like, I'm usually sure from my way pedigree, but I can hurt people. Not enough about their where their tactic, but you people are less reluctant to attack you when they know that there's a potential that they wanted to foster a cake or something. So that strength was straightaway taken away from me because karate is limited context. So I couldn't, you know, I was getting worn as left, right and center.



flags, right. Yeah,



exactly. So that was that was a big challenge. And then Technically, the score and techniques in karate are slightly different. But that slight difference took me a long time to grasp. Now I'd be like punching in kickboxing, so you just have to land a punch and and you get a point for it, which makes it much faster. But in karate, you have to finish and execute the technique properly with limited with like a certain amount of control. And you have to finalize the technique. So it kind of slows it down a bit. But that's I don't even know if I'm explaining that right, because I'm still not even 100% certain myself. So that's taken me the longest time to pick up the techniques. And then I think the other part of it, which I always knew was part of it's part of every sport, I think but so like in kickboxing, because I'd been there for so long and I'd won things. When you step out to compete and you have three judges, they straightaway know that your book because you're all on the circuit together. And even if it's not a normal, like a conscious bias on a subconscious level, they expect you to win. So there you know, you might start, like, I guess from a on a subconscious level, you start with a slight advantage. And then we're karate Ireland wouldn't have been one of the strongest nations. So when I step out with an Irish flag, straightaway, people assume you're gonna be rubbish and you're maybe not gonna be as good as now they've got better for sure over the last few years, but you're up against that, like where's my compete and kickbox in Ireland was top three in the world. So all you had to do was put an Irish flag on your top and people assumed you were going to be good. And that was the complete opposite in quality. So that was a harsh thing to get used to, like 5050 clashes I would have always come out on the right side of them. And then when I went into the news board I was I was losing those points and ultimately that's the difference between winning and losing a fight so yeah, so those things are tough but like I mean you can complain about them you just have to deal with it and find a way to get out and it's really



good you can switch on your winner you winner's mentality here again, you know the ultimate tossed in the deep end approach really there in terms of technique and you're fighting against this was your did you have to like your transition then in terms of your your grading and your standards? How did that work when you transitioned to Did you have to pretty much start from scratch? rottier? or How did that work?



No, they, they, they let me face basically. So some of my grades and stuff in kickboxing would have come from, I mean, kickboxing ultimately comes from karate, so they grade inside of kickboxing, essentially, is karate. So when I did my black belt, and that it would have been very different to the kickboxing that you do in competition, it's all very traditional. So from that point of view, like the basics, and that kind of basic techniques, I kind of had the fundamental parts of it is a slight adjustment for for the competition side. And they've been very good to me, that they, you know, they allow me to just come in and do they kill my day, or they sparring part because, like, I have no interest in the traditional side of it. And I get a lot of weight from that as well. But even if I was kickboxing, it just, it doesn't interest me the sport side of it, the competition side of it. That's the bit I like, and I do have an appreciation for your basic techniques. I think it's important and some people love the grading system and the belts on that. But it's never been something that I particularly enjoyed or something that I just had to do. And I got through it. And once I did my backpacks, I thought I never want to see a grade and again, like to get my clothes on.



Absolutely. Just let me kick someone or hit someone. Yeah, no. So how did you how did you find it like you're a little bit like did did in terms of your your coaches and stuff like that? Were it was there any reluctance from from anybody, you kind of I suppose in your round your close coaching circle, kind of warn you are trying to put you off or where they just go, Oh, no terrorists come on here, we just have to let her do what she wants almost.



I know I wasn't that well received at the start. It's like, my coaches are brilliant. I've trained with the two national coaches, Paul and Ayman. And they are brilliant. And I don't like the they just you and me, I guess. But they were they were brilliant at the start, like like I command on, I didn't really make much of a secret about why I was there. So that definitely rubbed off other people the wrong way. So some of the girls in the sport, were just hoping that I'd fail and just leave. And definitely ruffled a few feathers amongst people that would have been doing karate for 50 years, 60 years, 40 years for someone to come in and think that in two or three years that they could win a major medal in something that they couldn't do in six years. People don't always take that very well. And, you know, I just like I couldn't understand it in a way. But then part of me is like, you know, it's, that's nothing to do with me, I just I have got a goal. And it's not that I'm rude. Like, maybe people call it rude. But when you say winner's mentality, it's just that I guess I'm I'm driven and that I believe I can do something like I don't ever intentionally, like I've watched a bit of the, the Michael Jordan documentary. And, you know, I never intentionally try to like, you know, sabotage people or hurt people like, and I don't think I am that kind of person. And but at the same time, you know, I don't feel that I should give up completely on what I, my dream is or what I want to achieve, so that you can feel better about yourself, like some people would rather you let them beat you up. So that you can be and then they'll let you into their little click. And I've never operated that way, and they just don't see it that way. So it's a kind of a balance of just following what you feel is the right thing to do. And if you're determined, and you believe that you want to win something, obviously, there's a line you have to go for, you're not going to cross but I think if you do everything within your power to witness, or to do that, that's fine. But some people won't like for us. And so it's kind of a balance, I guess. I don't know if that's making sense.



No, like, I think we totally get you.



So be a complete moron. And, you know, like, offend everyone and step on anyone's toes. Like, that's never been my attitude. And it's more just that, like, you can be driven in you can be confident in yourself, and you shouldn't have to apologize for that. But at the same time, you don't go overboard and deliberately try and, you know, hurt people or that sort of stuff. So I hope I'm making sense No,



perfect. It's a balancing act. there's a there's a line in the sand there. And so like so the Olympics was was your was your dream. Obviously, the world has changed a lot. I have to say as well. Just before we get into Tokyo on what's the big games you've moved, I would consider myself pretty much a sports nerd. I would like to, you know, find myself very knowledgeable in sport, but the whole process around the grouping and the qualification and for the mix confuses the hell out of me. I don't know. It seems to be so many different bodies. There seems to be so much politics involved. I would I find myself getting infuriation at times just reading, reading about the stories, I don't know how you guys manage in there, but the qualification, what is what is your? What is your roadmap? Or have you got your head around all of that? Or is it? Is it a huge frustration? Remember chapter 40 is like, I'm totally confused. I don't know how you manage what all that?



Yes, the qualification system was up in the air when the pandemic started. So, for a few months, we didn't know exactly what how that was going to work. And initially, I think the worldwide Federation made a bit of a, an error. So they went ahead, I guess they jumped the gun a bit. So they announced the X amount athletes that are qualified, and then they realize that that went against all the pre approved criteria, and that there was gonna have to be discussions around that they couldn't just made me make those decisions straightaway. So they had to backtrack on that. And that meant that they, three or four athletes per week category that are qualified to have now lost their qualifications, but they're gonna have to go back and do it again. And so thankfully, that was never going to affect me. I'm really surprised that no athletes has kicked up a force, I can tell you, if it was me, I really nobody says I qualified and then decide, especially when, when Thomas Bach has come out to say that everybody who's already been awarded a place in the game does not want to lose that place. And then my Federation has gone against that. But I guess the getaway when nobody kicks up, you know, whichever



is better, Steven.



That's the thing. Like, it's huge. It's not just one event, like people have possibly put 10 or 20 years to get that. And in, particularly in karate, where it's the first time sports in the games, I'm possibly the only time because they're not going to be in for the Paris Games. And it's a huge amount in that and maybe not so much Ireland, but other countries like France and Japan, they've invested millions into getting these places, and then all of a sudden, you tell them, sorry, no. But I guess you know, you can't, you know, it's not really a life halfway, everyone's battles for them. If they if they're happy enough to take that decision, then I guess that's,



I try not trying to suggest that you wouldn't be as pleasing to the decision.



But it like, because I was injured anyway. So back to how I how I can qualified. And I spent the course of a year injured last year. And that pretty much real day qualification for me to their ranking process, which was where you travel the world, basically, and collect ranking points, and whoever is top of the ranking list gets to go. And so for me, it was always going to be this world qualification event. And I have to finish top three, and that hasn't changed. So what they've done now is they've just moved it to June of next year, they still don't know what country it's in. And it was due to the Empire. So it's likely that it could be Paris again, which you know, which would be very convenient if it's in Europe. But to me, that's like, that's the focus and, and I'm gonna sound like every single athlete here, and I say, gives me an extra year, and I have a lot more opportunity to get better. And like you do have to try and be a bit positive as much as, like, that's just the cliche response. But for from a qualification point of view. That's what I have to focus on now. So June of next year. And then that's, that's if the games go ahead. Like there's still a kind of question mark over whether this pandemic is going to be under control. And so yeah, we'll see. But I've got idea now what's gonna happen? You know, what the plan is, I



guess? Yeah, well, no, you're right. It isn't certainly isn't a cliche in your, in your situation, given the fact you know, you had your horrible injury. And then of course, as well, don't forget that you're still relatively new, and some people will remind you, so you have one of those 16 years of people have experience behind them that everyone's frustrated that you don't have, yeah, you can have an opportunity to get, Gather, Gather more, keep everyone keep everyone happy, but not not not known. And, obviously, look, it's a little bit surreal at the moment the fact that it is a pandemic and there's so many other things that we just don't have control of but does that that for me again, that would be very frustrating not having a clear roadmap, you kind of almost sure of what your roadmap will be and what you need to do. But that on certainly the last while as well must have been another big challenge to manage that. I know obviously, that the world is we call it bigger problems and people's people are dying and it's horrible and all that but you as your motivation. That's your dream is to take part in the Olympics. That is did you find that how did you how did you find that kind of period? It was still fun.



Yeah, so well, it's not too bad now because we're back training. The gyms are open. So I think that's been a massive benefit. Anyway, it's something that's kept me a lot happier in the last couple of weeks. And I think, from one in one point of view, it hasn't been as bad as it could have been. Because I think I went through a lot of this when I was injured last year thinking, Oh, no, I can train or this is, this could be the end, I might not go back pains for this. And how do I deal with that, and I struggle massively last year from just mentally trying to get to grips with if, like, if I don't compete anymore, what am I gonna get to check to replace that challenge. And so this time was a bit different, because you're not injured. So you, you know, you don't understand why you're not like leaving the house or go and train and or whatever. But I think like, it wasn't as bad I think, as the first few couple of months, were brilliant. I thought, This is great. I'm gonna have time to myself. And I noticed that I was lucky I was in Legos in my mom's house. So I got to see family for a while. And then I think the last couple of weeks before phase three started, that's when I was just gone a bit like starting to lose a little bit. And I've had a probably had a few rounds on Twitter as well, at certain sports been alive back before us. And it was just like, throwing all my toys out of the ground. But basically, it just was, I think it was getting to everyone, but like, I tend to show the lows when I'm stressed. But yeah, the last few weeks have been fine. We're back training now. When you think of it, like uncertainty around qualification, and last, and I, I'm kind of okay with that, if it turns out that the games don't happen, I've like I'll be upset. But like I don't like I'm it's not like the be all and end all for me anymore. Like a few years ago, that would have crushed me. And now it's like, it's in context. Like it's something I love to do. It's nice to win stuff, when still competitive. But if they, if there is a global pandemic that causes the games to be finished or to be off, then I'll find some something else to do. And then I guess the other thing as well is that the style of fighting that I have, it doesn't take me a huge amount to prepare, like some people feel like those three months, I know from speaking, those three months where they couldn't train lifted, that would, that could take a year or two for them to get back to the level that they were at. Because I've never really felt that way I maybe I shouldn't know more about four signs. But I don't always get into the whole pekan thing. And me, I definitely believe in some of our boy just think, you know, if you're able to fight, you should be able to fight with a few weeks training again, maybe that's old school thinking, but it's certainly helped me because it means that, like I don't panic when I don't have a 12 month training plan ahead of me. Like if, if I get three months to train, I'm happy. Yes. That's the way I'm thinking. I could be totally wrong, I could lose everything. Back to me.



Yeah, what went wrong here? Well, what would I suppose it's the cliche question for a lot of athletes, but what we're taking part in and winning them, hopefully winning a medal in the Olympics, what would that mean to you?



And I think at this stage now, it would just be like the icing on the cake used to be that I have to innocence that I wanted this so badly. And I was fooled into thinking that my sport was going to be part of that. Whereas now i think it's it's more just like it will be nice. And like, I'd certainly be very proud of it. And I think more than just that I think I'd be happy though, if I've given it my best shot. And if this things that are out of my control have gotten away, then so be it. I think sometimes we put too much value on Windows dolphin. And I know that, like you're, you're as good as your last fighter, you're in New York forgotten a very, very quickly. So even if that's an Olympic medal or a world championship medal, you know, I just know that for my experience, that it's not going to make a huge difference to your overall life. I mean, that's just the way I look at it. So it's more just that I'd be private, I guess and that I've given it my best shot.



I probably dare dare I suggest if if the Olympics took place earlier in your career, it would probably be a different mindset attitude towards it. Almost like your we call it your obsessed phase in your early teens. It starts your career.



Yeah, I think so. I think yeah. Yeah, I think maybe that's just you know, age gives you more perspective or a bit more maturity both Yeah, I probably would have had a different attitude toward this. I've heard over the last one and myself



out there lockdown and happened during that Phase II occur you might have seen, right?



Yeah, yeah. And I can I can understand that. Like I see a lot of younger athletes and they're really devastated by this and I can totally relate to that. And then you know, I I feel Kind of, you know, I feel bad for them because there is a attitude towards sports people and towards athletes. That, you know, they're not entitled almost to feel upset about things because there is so much worse things going on in the world. And but I just think no matter who you are, whether it's sports or not, if you feel a certain way, you're allowed to feel that way. And you shouldn't be shamed about it. So But yeah, I can totally relate and I can see how difficult it is. And the chalet probably think I'm like, I'm mad, what my relaxed attitude about it. I don't know, if I ever think I don't, but maybe not then. But I know there's people in my sport, too, who would normally not select you, if they had the power to select your regime, they wouldn't, because you didn't want to die for it. There is still that kind of old school attitude that it should be your full focus, and put everything into it. But that's just that's not going to be my attitude. Now. I've done 10 or 15 years back, so it didn't pay off too well. So



yeah, I do find it interesting. I have to say the whole year out, I guess it is all getting a little bit older and more mature, maybe wiser. You know, you're given a look back some of that stuff that I would have learned in recruiting you to cringe at it now. And like, why didn't you do Why didn't you go off and take that holiday? Why didn't you go off and celebrate this circle travel or whatever it is? You definitely did that that Do you think that's something that's helped your kind of sporting performance as you I don't know if less obsessed is the right word. But more balanced is probably the best description of it over over the supposed to phase your career has improved your life.



It's definitely improved my my personal life and my health overall health. I spent like so from that point of view, it's like it's whether it improved my performance or not. It's still been a big win. For me, I just think it's, it's better. And I'm still trying to figure out I mean, I think if I look back my last year of kickboxing, which would have been 2017, that was one of my most successful years. And I was definitely a lot more balanced. And what it's been like, it's not that I just decided that year, I'm going to be a balanced person, though. It's kind of like being an everyday challenger every week trying to calm down, like sometimes you forget, and you get really like evil back to the old you and I think I'm gonna do this and this, and I'm gonna win, especially when people say to me, like, you're rubbish, or you can't do this, I get really wound up and then I'm going to show them. And then I've come down and say like, I don't care, what, you know, somebody in sport, Ireland's hazard ratio, or wherever it says. And so it's like an ongoing thing. But I'm still not sure whether whether it's helped my performance or not, I'm definitely happier, and I'm enjoying us. And it's hard to measure it because it's a new sport, and I've been injured. I think if I was still in kickboxing, maybe I'd be able to see. And I think that's a really, that's one thing that I'd love to find out, because there's a huge question mark over whether in order to win, you have to sacrifice too much, or you have to endure certain conditions. And I'd love to find a system or an athlete or a number of athletes where they can genuinely say that they've had a balanced life. And they're happy, that haven't had to put up with any rubbish from abusive coaching systems or anything like that, where they and and they've won everything. So I'm not too sure it's a really it's a brilliant question, but I'm just not sure the answer because it's hard to compare when you're new in a sport. And because if you take it from an international point of view, like I'm not winning World Championships in karate, but maybe, you know, Major, so



you're still new as well. You're still learning learning the sport and in reality, as well as coming back from from the sea. Yes, injuries



was the injury and then I think as well the governance issues require they didn't help you know, so that kind of distracted me a bit but I still don't regret that I would I don't know what I didn't want into it but you know, standard or for younger athletes that maybe didn't have the same courage to speak up or that sort of stuff. Like I don't I don't regret that but I think that definitely held me back from performing that for a championship. So there's lots of lots of things there. Okay, but I you know, sometimes like you're given you can look back and think these things are more important than winning medals.



Yeah, like I wanted to talk about that like it's it's like ultimately you I suppose there's there's a shady politics is there's politics in in all sports in this, particularly when there's so many different governing bodies as well and everybody is looking after their own agenda and you're still fighting the case for for so many issues as well, but you, you appeared to me without knowing the whole situation too well, that you've almost made a stance that It's not your responsibility, but the you want to kind of look after the bigger picture and you're not afraid to, you know, sacrifice yourself. And I go back to the Colin Kaepernick situation in the US with NFL where I think that the night guard sums it up perfectly is what I believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. Where you do say the right thing, even if it's meant if it's meant to be said, and you will have sacrifice on that. Like you, you seem to be very competitive. I don't mean this in a disrespectful way. I mean, this is a compliment very kind of, you say what's on there's no holding back. There's no filter at times, if there's something there you say. But I mean, I mean, that is a compliment. Where did that was that always something that you kind of were cheesed off with certain situations in certain scenarios through your career. And then you went to know, you know, what, enough enough I have to make after say something here. I'm just curious about I know, I'm kind of waffling a little bit, but it is a it's a huge area. And I'd like to hear a little bit more kind of your, your point of view.






I mean, I definitely didn't just wake up one day, and all of a sudden, I'm gonna fight everybody.



I gotta fight, you



know, but I, you know, this has been something that I've seen. So, kickboxing was a sport I was in for the longest time. And there's been issues with that, throughout from certainly from the early days, in political and I don't even go into like the individual instances, there were just consistently data throughout my career, stuff that didn't sit well with me. And just athletes not having any say, and just been literally encountered as a medical and not nobody senior as a like as a human being. And there was times that I spoke up in kickboxing, it wouldn't have certainly made any news, it wasn't like newsworthy stuff. But I got adequately punished for it and punished in a way where I couldn't prove I was punished. So whether that meant I was absolutely shafted by referees at a national championships and didn't get selected and things like that they happen all the time. And, and I backed down then. So like I'd have that would have been enough to put me back in my box, I guess. But I would have been hugely resentful because, you know, when you hold back who you are, and your opinions and things, I think they just say buried inside, and then you just have loads of resentment towards the system. So when I was switching to karate, I kind of made a deal with myself that no matter what happens in this sport, if some of that stuff comes up again, you're, you're gonna say it and you're gonna, you know, see, it's true, you're not gonna be like, you know,



quite under blackmail in ways and they're like, oh, we're, we're gonna shaft you and every decision or we're gonna make your, your life hell we come.



Well, that's what they do. Like, that's the thing with sport. And it's, it's a really strange one for me, because my personality is quite straightforward. And I love to be able to just have like, direct conversation with somebody. But in sports, you don't find that at all. Everything is so coating, so polite. So like, it's really like, yeah, and we're all a family. And this is always fun. And third, that's, it's just, it's very, it's just a very strange dynamic. So they know how to make you afraid, without ever saying words, they know how to make you quiet. And there's a lot there's a lot more athletes that aren't naturally as as spoken as me so or even as confident, or whatever way you'd want to describe it. So they're certainly going to keep quiet if they're able to make, I guess, the most vocal and quiet. And so yes, that was that was part of the pain when I switched over. And literally, within six months, there was it all kicked off. So I thought, well, now Harry, I'm so careful what you wish for. So now I have to do something. And so that's what I did. And I just didn't back down and I think that was the difference and that's probably why you made like a difference. And I made a like I got a lot of enemies from it. I mean, that's half of wired quality that's still blame me for all of things gone wrong. And, and there's a lot of people that you know, I'm still called out that kickboxer come in here and cause loads of trouble and Who does she think she is eccentric?



So yeah,



there's there's all that and, but I don't regret it because I I'm sick to my teeth of corrupt practices, and just on ethical stuff, like it's everywhere. And I just think if everyone just did one or two things, and I'm not saying everyone has to have to do things the way I do them, I mean, I've my own kind of way of being. But I think that's how you get really corrupt systems is that people and good people, they just turn a blind eye to small stuff and then it just grows and grows and grows and then it just blows up and everyone's pointing the finger saying Well, I'd never, you know, I if I was in that sport like if if you take the FBI for example, how did it get so bad? Because I because wrote loads ago people, when it when they were met with small instances of something that just didn't feel right, they didn't say anything, they didn't feel it was their place or at the felt that was only a small thing. And then that's how it gets big. That's, that's my opinion of it. So I just want to make sure that I that I do my best. And I'm not convinced that it's going to make any significant difference. But I still think, you know, even if it does make a difference, but if it doesn't, I think people should know what they're getting themselves into as well. I mean, I think a lot of younger athletes are very naive going into sports. So yeah, that kind of thing isn't is important to me. But I don't know how much of it I could do for a long term. It's not something you do. I mean, some people complain, and I are activists for decades, and I just have such respect for them. Because it burns you out like that, I'm thinking I've got about five years me and then See you later, I had to go over to somebody



more angry, but a lot more fight or fires to put out. But like, like, that's all happening, you're trying to you're trying to condition yourself, you train yourself be focused on your own in your own career, then as well. So you've so much effort to put into that, then you have this kind of little side kind of dynamic war, whatever you want to call it. And then what really, really kind of I can't get my head around at all is the levels of abuse that you're getting in front of people left, right and center, like how do you, Hunter, you you kind of set in a way it kind of stopped you or you were kind of I suppose snapped back a little bit, but some of the, say decisions and stuff and you kickboxing, but you've kind of made a conscious effort now to keep on going, how do you how do you put up with that? abuse? And because so I've seen some of that stuff, it's just, I'm not sure I'd be able to do what I want I want like, there has to be



it is



it is in a way like I think it was, it was a couple of ways now that I think has made it easier. And I think the first thing and the most important thing that has been kind of finding athletes that are of the same, I guess mentality or like minded. And when I was Yeah, and so when when I joined up with them global athlete was the first time I got any sense of solidarity or support from like, you know, athletes, a group of athletes, and I am like I would have had a lot of support over the years, but never to the extent that I had with with this particular group, and there's more and more athletes now starting to speak up. And that gives you a little bit more confidence when you get a bit of back and then you know, you're not completely on your own. Because I think when you feel you're, you're on your own and you're making no difference, it can be a really tough thing to deal with. Whereas now I may be making no difference, but at least on my own. So that's kind of a good thing. But I think there is there is a culture shift starting to happen, I hope there is. And then I guess the other the other way you just have to eat you kind of have to have a sense of humor about this. Because if you take it, like I do take things quite seriously sometimes but if you're constantly take it seriously, it really gets you down, and you have to be able to switch off from it. So that's, that's something that I've tried to learn how to do over the last kind of while is just switch off and don't take things like you know, if people say something about me, that I just know isn't true, like are from sort of, if it comes from somebody that I would never take their advice from Anyway, I'm certainly not going to take their criticism. So those kind of are just tricks but I think knowing that there's the right there, they're going to support you and have the same kind of same kind of, I guess, not even so much the same beliefs but that they support your right to express your belief more so than anything else. And I think that's what's happening now athletes are just saying they've had enough and they're starting to come together and and just speak up for for different things that are important to them. So hopefully



there's more that we say yeah, absolutely Fingers crossed because we've spoken before as well i think that without going to get too deep into it because we could chat for hours on it but the world is plushly highly even we live we think she has an A 20 you think everything should be kind of gone towards a level playing field but you look all around the world and politically it's it's just a mess and Dark Age ideas and philosophies and whatever else are still still kind of still there and scarily they're starting to rise again in certain aspects but that that fighter is it is something very important and even it's reflected on sport as well particularly look like your your role at the moment for equality sport you're probably hearing about but you get the words out of bars. Ambassador There we go. Got it. We've got really getting Tongue Tied here. And at the moment at the moment for them like that that's given you I suppose you've talked about giving you kind of a I suppose a platform in your way to be expressive and seen all the stuff that you You've been sharing on social media even recently, and it's just the mind boggles at it really. It's just it's, I suppose the best summary you can say is, it's scary in 2020, that we still have these beliefs and these conditions.



Yeah, I think so. Yeah, it's, it's, let's read and a lot of the stuff. I mean, it can get you down, sometimes you just have to switch off from it and kind of recharge the batteries the best. And what some of the stuff that I think, like, there's no way I could say that things haven't got better over. Like, as a general outlook on society, it's probably in a better place now than it was 100 years ago for for women's rights. But I think there's still a lot of oppression and a lot of abuse of power. And it's just slightly more covert than overthrew guess. So stuff that they would have got away with 30 years ago, you know, physical violence, and there is still some of that. I mean, we've seen Japan in the recent days, and China and that sort of stuff. But now they've just the same kind of stuff happens, what is just super clever about it, so that you can, it's really harder to prove man, because a lot of this stuff now that's happening in sport is done so subtly and manipulatively. And quietly, that you're almost made fail, or athletes or feel that they're imagining things or that it's not as bad as the tank. And so I think that's a newer problem. And well, yeah, there still is, there's so much stuff in particularly some of the development countries, and that you just take for granted here. And it is quite shocking. And, and then, like if I take, say, my own experience in kickboxing, and I relate that to Ireland here, and that's one of the things and I think that's one of the reasons that I've decided that I have to say something I have to do something is that it's 24 years ago, since I stepped into a kickboxing gym. And over that time, nothing has got better, and I was a kickboxing, nothing. So like. Yeah. But that's the thing, you would think this, like, maybe like we've got better the kids as a team, performance wise on the world stage. And that's been good. Her, the Irish president is now the president of the World Federation. So there's, you know, he's done very well. He's got, you know, has moved on, but the actual fundamental structures of the sport and how athletes are treated, and even just the funding systems. Like they're non existent, there's no anti doping non in an Irish martial arts, you have to go You have to be winning medals at international level before you even come up against anti doping, which isn't really fair. I mean, you have. So there's just loads of things that like, and you try and do your best to not want to fix it all. But there's just so many issues that are important to me, I think. And that's why I say the things I do not to deliberately offend people, although people will take it that way.



Oh, no, your your sole aim is just to piss people off. Isn't isn't that is that's the only thing you make go to bed morning morning to do. But you joking aside, like you've touched on it there. And it's one I've, I've received some of the stuff you share and read other pieces in particular, but the anti doping and I cannot get my head around that I really cannot like we're in an age now where it's so high profile. It's, it's highly exposed across a number of different sports. But that doesn't appear to be a standard testing system in place. Like, how how I know you're not the right person to ask. But like, again, I've seem to say this a lot. The mind boggles, but I just cannot understand that. There's no like that, as an athlete, that was really, really annoying.



It's, it's infuriating. And there's no other word for it. And, you know, there. I mean, you could argue there's no anti doping in the world full stop, because even world anti doping agency is under, you know, that there's so many issues there. But if even to look at our sport, and the different ways certain sports or our approach from an anti doping perspective, like there's 60 plus governing bodies of sport, and probably 15 of them are subject to regular anti doping, education, testing, intelligence, all of that sort of stuff. So I just, it just bothers me that like, so, if I have to go back 20 years ago, my sport kickboxing at the time was part of the anti doping system. There was at a competition testing there was in competition testing. There was maybe not so good on the education side, but there was some sort of deterrence there, even though the testing is, you know, only a small fraction of Vantage open. And then we had a positive test. We had so many sorry, not a positive test we did. Anti doping rule violation, one of our athletes refused to take a test And there was an issue there wider appeal of sport Ireland's leniency on the on the ban, and I think she ultimately got it to her ban. And that was the end of our anti doping our sport that was taken off the anti doping system. Is it coincidental? I don't know, note,



syndicate syndicate means jumping up and down here, isn't it?



Yeah, no, it's it's easy to kind of put those things together and and say what I think some of it then. And for Darren, and we'll say it's an intelligence based system that if they feel that a sport is at risk, and they'll prioritize that sport, and that may be the case. But like in MMA, if you look at the UFC testing program with true USADA, they're probably at the top of their anti doping rule violations. And I think they're even worse than weightlifting, weightlifting has had a really bad name. So for MMA, then and Ireland, to not even be recognized as a sport or to have absolutely no safety or anti doping measures, it is just baffling to me. And for them to say that it's because they're not a high risk sport, just not buying it at all. Like, that's just one example. And then I, I've seen things in, in my own sports that I just, I just think there's no deterrence there. I mean, I think there should be some testing. And, and it's not to try and tarnish or taint any athletes, achievements or anything like that. I mean, the fact that I'm saying this, probably, you could say, contains my own achievements, if I'm saying I came to a sport, but internationally, and I guess I should point out internationally for kickboxing, karate do have like anti doping. So when I'd go away to European Championships that like the will test the medalists, I guess it's it's not so much, maybe it's random, but it's, it's still very small, but in Irish sport, where they try to give off this perception that if you're See, towards the end, and one of the most robust anti doping systems in the world, that, to me is a lot of rubbish. It's only good for certain sports. And they funding that athletes received as tight anti doping, like, we don't have an independent anti doping agency, which is against the best practice of the world anti doping agency. And even the fact that, you know, taking advice from them is a whole other thing. But we should have in an independent anti doping agency, it shouldn't be part of sport Ireland, because it means that if your funding is linked to sport, Ireland and your anti doping, you're never going to criticize the hand that feeds you. So athletes know that their funding is related to what they say indirectly, it's not probably explicitly put under contracts. But there's just there's lots of issues, and then you have a lot of athletes that won't say anything, because, you know, they don't want to rock the boat, and then there's that lease that are happier, it's a great sport, we can choose to, you know, the song Calm down, nobody's gonna catch us, it's a great sport to be in. So there's all of those issues. And, yeah, I'm just, I've lost hope on that one, I don't think we're going to get much better from, from the way that the system is set up in Ireland, I think maybe internationally, it is more a maneuver for for better change. But I think as Borderlands stands, they're never going to bring anti doping into some of these boards. And



that's just to say, it's a lot but it's staggering, like, because obviously don't want to tear people with the same brush, but it's been proved and other sports, that the level of dopamine and the levels that they go to, to avoid even the testing in places is new levels, so that if they have you're just gonna say no, we're gonna turn a completely blind attitude. It's keys, it's just beyond because even like, what forever about, like maybe trying to turn a blind eye to see improvements in your sport and performance, but it's it's the opposite side of it. It's the safety effects. It's, I'm sure there's people potentially taking stuff that they don't know is bad for them or, or could have other health issues and to completely turn a blind eye to it. It's just in this day and age, I really, I really can't understand myself how that's allowed to happen.



Yeah, I think it's, it is kind of it is shocking, and maybe they don't believe what I'm saying that, that there is an issue there. And, or it could be just complete lack of resources, and they don't want to acknowledge that at least I think I'd have more respect if they went and said, Look, we only have enough money to focus on athletics, I've been robbery or whatever it is that they're going to focus on. And, but that's, that's not what what we hear and, and, yeah, it is frustrating, especially from a health and safety point of view. And I think what unfortunately, I think what's going to happen It's gonna take a tragedy before Charlie's tragedy or a scandal, that's the only way you really get action. And, and one of the things that I talk about sometimes is the fact that we've no regulator in Irish sport. I mean, that is, it's baffling, considering the two major scandals we've had over the last four years between their former Olympic Council of Ireland, and then the FBI recently, and they're just two, they're the ones that we know about. They've just basically proved this Irish sport cannot regulate themselves. And for us to have nobody, like, if you want to report an issue with your sport, you report it to the people that you have the issue with. I mean, it's just insane. Yeah, yeah. So I started, I'm given a second Watch now, sorry,



I get it off your chest here. But like, I look, I know, I know, we laugh and joke. But as you say, that's a scary thing. Ultimately, we'll take either a big scandal, and they'll everybody will eventually like we've seen the FBI or whatever, and it'll get, there'll be, there will be a little piece of info that'll come out. And then they'll start scratching, and we'll see a bit more our worst case scenario and really hope this doesn't happen that somebody will die from taking, taking something that they shouldn't have had it's, yeah, it's a there's a long way on the battle to go on, whatever about some of the other battles that you you may be quite known. Please don't quote me on this.



No, no, no. I mean, I probably won't go well, but I know I won't. But I mean, one of the things I kind of worry about as well is that it's all with smaller sports. And the potential for that to be a scandal is even smaller again. So something like on a smaller scale could be happening, like what's happening in the FBI, FBI third, and what we might not ever hear about it, because there's not that general demand. It's not maybe in the public interest as much so and unlike the sports media, and journalists, I mean, they're already under pressure as it is, and lack of resources and time, and all that sort of stuff for that. So for somebody to, and ultimately, in my opinion, it's the media that do this job the best. They're the ones that, unfortunately, unfold all of these issues. And then it forces organizations to act. And it shouldn't be that way. But maybe, or maybe it should be that way. But I credit the media, in particular with them. We're doing a huge good service to sport and fixing this sort of stuff. But when you've got a small sport, it doesn't really warrant that time or resources. So we might never hear about it. And I think the powers that be they fully understand that they know that a sport like my sport is not going to have the same impact. If I kick up a force than somebody who is in we are in Irish football, and the system then continues to operate like that. So there's a bit of work to go before change on that. But hopefully, you're



on the right path, hopefully, but I suppose leave leaving aside the I suppose the couple of issues we discussed there as a whole. Do you feel like your sport is represented enough in mainstream media? Like I know you're involved in radio as well, with your on sports show and stuff like that? So you do have a big interest in media, but do you feel like your sport gets the coverage it deserves?



Yeah, I mean, it's, it's never been I know, some people in minority sports have an issue with that. But I mean, I feel like I've I've got plenty. I mean, I don't it's not something that I ever, I don't know, it's not something that bothers me too much. Or that I would say that I'd want more or less or that some people might just have a different opinion on us. And, and I do know that the more visibility sport has that has an impact on participation, numbers and, and investment and sponsorship, I do understand all of that. But I do think it's I think there's too much. I guess, blame poured on the media, I think sports need to take accountability for their own. I mean, there's just so many platforms out there, you don't need to rely on everybody to promote your sport. And I think you need to be proactive about it. And I think that's what we're missing in, in some of the volunteer base forces that they don't understand that, you know, they need to go knocking on the door to see and showcase their sport rather than waiting and sitting back and waiting for, you know, the National broadcasters to bang their door down, because that's just not going to happen. So I think, and I'm certainly happy enough, I've no complaints from that point of view. But I think if I'm just from here and some athletes that I've kind of come through my sports with and then other minority sports, I think they they just wait around and they expect things to happen and then they just spend a lot of time complaining but they don't actually follow through and do anything about it. So I might get a bit of grief for that. But that's just my take on it and you have to be a bit more proactive



yourself. attitude and for very good, so yeah, so you like it just enough to run up because I'm taking so much your time but also your other you've kind of involved the last couple years as well with athlete mentorship, we've seen you do some TED Talks, I've seen you do more public events and Sky Sports ambassador, do you enjoy? I suppose that mentoring slash slash coaching side of things as well as passing on your, your words of wisdom from your



I love us. I think it's, yeah, it's one thing that I, I kind of landed in I didn't know anything about this athlete mentary roles and and then Sky Sports, just seen an ad for it. And I thought, What's this all about? And this was the first program I got involved with, and they were looking for athletes to be part of this liberal free sport program. And it was brilliant. It was the first time I got to go into schools and talk to young people about my sport. And and then, you know, I did just realize that you somebody can pay you for talking and I never should think,






And then I kind of came across that problem, then move, like, pulled back and violent and think more towards the GA, but then I got involved with a couple other ones. And I also thought as a really good way to talk to young people about what I depressing them too much about sports, it's a good way to talk about some of their ethics and some of the values that are important in sports. Even though like when I go into school, they just were like, show me the trophy to do you try and use like storytelling to get across some points. What I, you know, I wouldn't obviously talk to them, like some of the serious stuff that we're talking about now. But yeah, so I love that I love getting to talk about my sport. And I think that I have a duty though, because I'm, I'm doing that stuff. And then I know that there's all these issues with my Sport and Sport in general, I think I would be very hypocritical to go into school. And so this is awesome. And I think you know what, I've been too negative, you do need to be a bit realistic. And then I still feel like I have to do my best to try and create an awareness that it's just not all about roses that especially if you choose minority sports, you're going to be broke down and you're not going to make money out of it. It's actually going to cost you you're going to work in order to pay to represent your country. And, and the giver hasn't changed in the last 24 years, the chances of a change and drastically in the next maybe five years is is you know, it's not that likely. So I think it's important that people know what they're getting themselves into.



Well, very good. You certainly have enough experiences and stories of over over your course of your career in various sports. Look, we'll Rambla we'll wrap it up there. Thank you so much Kara. I've thoroughly enjoyed it that time there were actually over an hour and it's flown by we could be like chatty for so much more but fascinating career, both on and off the the fighting circuit. But we wish you the very best really, really mean Best of luck in your qualification. Hopefully it comes God and we'll see you and hopefully the Olympics will take place in the pandemic will will ease down we get a vaccine and we can get back to where I didn't call it normalized or backwards for sport and society can can can go back to the levels that we used to know about it was very best Look, I'm sure we'll be talking again soon and keep an eye out for in your career, everybody. Thank you so much.



Cheers, Jonathan. Thanks.

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