Champion kickboxer takes illness in his stride
NIALL Carroll has suffered from asthma since he was a baby but that never stopped him from winning three world kickboxing championships.
And even though his condition is triggered by physical exercise, the 14-year-old from Allenwood, Co Kildare, refuses to let the chronic respiratory disease slow him down or affect his martial arts career. He won world championships in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Unlike many of his peers, he has no qualms about pulling out his inhaler when he needs it and is proud to discuss the condition as the youth ambassador for the Asthma Society of Ireland.
However, Niall knows that there are people both younger and older than him who are inexplicably embarrassed by the condition.
"I'm 100pc sure there are people who are embarrassed to take an inhaler. But they shouldn't be," he said.
"I have exercise-induced asthma which brings it on more, but I've always been running around and I don't let it stop me," he said.
"But I don't think it's a sign of weakness. I'm here to show people that I have asthma and it doesn't stop you from doing what you want to do."