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 six-year-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 self-confidence.”
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.”