A DUNDALK woman who gave up a job in banking for her kickboxing career saw her dedication to the sport pay off when she fought her way to a fourth World Championship Kickboxing title in Italy.
It was Catherine Brady's passion for fitness which led the 30-year-old to make the leap from banking to personal trainer in a brave career move for the multi award winning sportswoman.
The Park Drive native made her debut at the tender age of 14, when she first qualified for a coveted place on the Irish ladies team.
A member of the Cobra Kan club, within a few short years she won her first world title (2001), and followed up that success again in 2009 and 2011.
'I was just as motivated to win this year again,' says Catherine, who beat off her Italian rival in front of a tough home crowd.
'It was described as one of the most exciting fights in the competition as it was so close. The final result was 16-14, which I was delighted with.'
And instead of her desire for titles waning as her sports career progresses, Catherine says that hunger is still very much alive.
'Even though it is my fourth time winning, it means every bit as much, maybe more actually. The loss I suffered in the final last year had stuck with me since, so I was determined to get the title back again.'
Having arrived home to a champion's welcome, she admits that some major life changes have enabled her to keep her eye on success.
'I worked in banking for years in Dublin, commuting 14 hours a week to the job, which had really taken its toll on me,' said Catherine.
'I found that I wasn't getting the time for training, and it was really tiring, So I decided I had to make a change.'
Leaving her job at AIB, she decided to take up studies at the National Training Centre in Dublin, where she qualified as a personal trainer.
'My own experience over the years in kickboxing, including a coaching role in the Cobra Kan club, really helped me. I felt at home doing this and knew I'd made the right choice.'
Having already established herself in town with a range of clients, Catherine found herself more able to dedicate time for her training.
'It's given me a much better quality of life, and I'm really enjoying working with clients. I think there was room for another personal trainer locally, and many women do prefer working with a female trainer.'
Catherine is currently accepting new clients, and can be contacted on 086 3420497.