Weston's Callaghan is indoor rowing world champion
PUBLISHED: 08:02 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:02 13 February 2020
Weston's Shaun Callaghan has been rowing his way to glory at home and abroad, writes Lee Power.
Callaghan has competed in seven indoor championship events in Devon, Nuneaton, Glasgow, London, Prague, Limerick and, most recently, Paris and collected eight gold medals, one silver and two bronze.
Competing in the Masters 55-59 year age category in the lightweight 2,000m class, Callaghan has been crowned Scottish, Irish and European champion.
And, most recently, he claimed the title of World champion at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in the French capital, where over 3,000 athletes from 52 countries were in action over the course of two days.
He said: "I first got interested in competitive rowing about 15 years ago to compliment my running.
"It hits most muscle groups and can be taken at a nice aerobic pace or you can choose to push into harder anaerobic levels.
"I enjoy competing and testing myself against others. I'll usually give a better performance if I've got someone to chase down and race against.
"The Indoor Rowing events are growing in stature and it's a pleasure to be part of them.
"The competition cycle is seasonal so during the summer I will move back to other sports, but come autumn you will find me on the rower again ready for next year's challenges."
Callaghan's first major success came at the British Championships in 2009 and he does most of his training at home.
He uses a Concept2 rowing machine that is connected up for online rowing, so he can spend his weekends racing against other athletes from all over the world.
In 2013, he was a member of the Steepholme Pirates crew which set a new world record by rowing a total combined distance of 341,615 metres in 24 hours.
"We took on the challenge to raise cash for the Bone Cancer Research Trust in memory of Mary Collard.
"The seven-man crew comprised Tony Slingsby, Derek Hannam, Gary Thorne, David Hetherington, Neale Jarrett, Gareth Hiscock and myself.
"The record has since been overhauled by a team from Denmark, but we retain the British record."
Callaghan wished to thank the team at Staceys Taxis/1st Ace Cars for their continued support of his endeavours.