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Caradh O'Donovan

Caradh O'Donovan

Former World and European Champion Kickboxer; Current Champion Karateka and TEDx Speaker

Caradh O’Donovan is a former World and European Champion Kickboxer and a current Champion Karateka. With a successful athletic career spanning more than two decades; this almost came to an end when Caradh was diagnosed with Crohns Disease in 2014. A debilitating disease for which there is no cure, she managed to successfully overcome the challenges living with this disease brought and regained her multiple World Cup Titles. Now switching her focus to Karate, Caradh is training to win the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. She is also an inspiring International Speaker and is booked regularly to speak in schools, businesses, events and conferences.

Caradh won her first Senior World Kickboxing title at the age of sixteen. Her success continued where she became an established member of the Kickboxing Ireland National Team for the following two decades. After winning multiple World and European Gold Medals Caradh stepped back from Kickboxing to focus on a new passion – Karate. She has experienced success immediately in Karate becoming Senior National Champion within three months and backing that up with multiple National Championship wins within her first year. She is now a member of the Irish Karate Team and committed to competing in and winning the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

After successfully gaining an Honours Degree in Sport and Exercise Management and a Masters Degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology Caradh has worked in High Performance Sport for over ten years to support her athletic career. Her experience as an elite athlete and her journey to successfully overcoming a debilitating disease has fuelled her passion to work as a motivational speaker. Learning the skills to achieve success against the odds have contributed to her ability to inspire those she speaks with at multiple events both in Ireland and abroad.

An accomplished TEDx speaker, she combines her speaking events with mentoring as part of the Sport For Schools Programme and is an Ambassador with the Irish Society of Colitis and Crohns (ISCC). Caradh’s expertise and passion is to speak about Building Resilience, Promoting positive Mental Health, Overcoming Adversity, Defeating Doubt, Keys to Success, Developing Self Belief and the Importance of Physical Activity.

Testimonials from Teachers

"Caradh was brilliant, so enthusiastic, great at chatting with the girls over dinner and was fantastic in the question and answer session, sharing insight into her careers and life as an athlete"

– Jackie Ewing, Head of Department - PE, St Marys School

“Caradh was so humble and kind to the children. A true professional”

– Sports For Schools

“Caradh was inspiring, established a great rapport with the boys and we wish her the very best of luck”

– Sports For Schools

Speaker File




  • Primary
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Assemblies and Celebrations Events
  • Well-being
  • Disability
  • Anti-Bullying

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