Shauna O’Callaghan’s participation in next week’s AIBA Women’s Youth and Junior World Boxing Championships in Taiwan is the best 10th anniversary gift that Clann Naofa Boxing Club could have asked for.
Clann Naofa has brought much success to the area in its 10 year history, churning out countless male and female champion boxers. Shana is one such champion and is without doubt one of the club’s greatest success stories of recent times.
She played an integral part in another of the club’s highlights when, on March 28, Clann Naofa played host to an Ireland v England International Women’s Boxing Event, the first of its kind on these shores.
It was a major honour for Clann Naofa and Muirhevnamor to not only play host to the event but to see all of Clann Naofa’s boxers win. Shana claimed the ‘Best Irish Boxer’ award on the night and her selection for the World Championships is undoubtedly the greatest achievement that Clann Naofa can boast of to date.
A remarkable talent, the Crossmaglen native first graced the doors of Clann Naofa Boxing Club at the age of 11. In her four years at the club, she has excelled at the sport due to a combination of natural talent, skill, and her unrelenting training schedule.
Shauna’s dedication to the sport is unquestionable. Aside from her schooling and her commitments to the Crossmaglen Rangers senior team, O’Callaghan trains at Clann Naofa twice daily. She trains immediately after school for a two hour session and later in the evening she completes another training session of similar duration. Her devotion to the art of boxing has secured numerous titles for O’Callaghan.
In addition to countless regional titles, O’Callaghan is a two time Irish champion. More recently, in March of this year, she won the Senior Cadet Championships held in the National Stadium in Dublin despite still being classed as a junior boxer.
Shauna’s next high profile fight was against the European silver medalist, Shelly Sweeney at the International Women’s Boxing Event in Clann Naofa. Captaining the Irish side, Shauna dominated the bout, her strength and skill so great that the referee had to call a halt to proceedings after the first round with Shauna taking the win via technical knockout.
Owing to her success at the Senior Cadets, O’Callaghan earned a place at a training camp for the Irish Youth and Junior Squad that was held in Edenderry, Co Offaly in April. The camp was to determine the team that would go to Taiwan to represent Ireland at the World Championships. At the training camp, O’Callaghan fought two test matches, excelling in both.
Last week, her successful performances at the training camp in April was confirmed when she was chosen by the IABA Central Council as the number one boxer in the country in her 60kg junior weight division. The significance of this achievement is all the greater when one considers that she is the youngest member of the team and has beaten much older girls on her rise to the top of the national and international boxing scene.
O’Callaghan is now engaging in extra training in preparation for the World Championships. She will be training in Clann Naofa until Saturday when she will enter another elite training camp. She will remain in that camp until the Irish team fly out to Taiwan this Wednesday, May 13.
The World Championships run from May 14-24 and we wish Shauna and the rest of the Irish team the best of luck and look forward to her bringing home the gold medal.