There’s a theme to Lara’s am­bi­tions

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

SHE may be small, but do not let 13-year-old Lara O’cal­laghan’s size de­ceive you.

A black belt from the age of 10, the Clare­mont res­i­dent re­cently won first place in the cadet (12-14 years) divi­sion at the Taek­wondo West Aus­tralian State Cup.

“She has re­ally good tech­nique and can han­dle the pres­sure,” coach Cameron Sut­ton said.

“She even beats up all the boys.”

Lara has been train­ing at Clare­mont’s ATI Mar­tial Arts since she was six and for the past two years has been un­der the guid­ance of Mr Sut­ton, a ju­nior world cham­pi­onships sil­ver medal­list.

“Lara started when she was a lit­tle dragon in the three- to sixyear-olds pro­gram, and de­vel­oped fur­ther and fur­ther,” he said.

“She showed skills from a young age so she trained more, to where she is today.”

Train­ing three to four times a week, the Shen­ton Col­lege stu­dent said she en­joyed taek­wondo for more than just the phys­i­cal as­pect.

“It’s great fun and you make friends through do­ing it,” she said.

“It also in­creases your self­con­fi­dence.”

Also a na­tional cham­pion in the Olympic-style sport, Lara said she hoped to one day rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in the sport.

“I didn’t even think I’d get this far,” she said. “Mr Sut­ton has taught me a lot.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d470267

She packs quite a punch too: Taek­wondo pow­er­house Lara O’cal­laghan.

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