Combat sports have always played a big role in Callum Nash’s life, and the only surprise is that the 23-year-old fought on a judo mat rather than a boxing ring.
Nash is one of seven strong NI teams to compete in the Commonwealth Games in the West Midlands this summer, and his family has already tasted success at the multi-sport event.
Nash’s father Roy won a silver medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, losing to Sean Murphy of England in the boxing bantamweight (54kg) final.
read more:West Belfast boxer targets Commonwealth glory after return to ring
Callum’s uncle was Charlie Nash, who represented Ireland in boxing at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Scotland’s Jim Watt ends his career aspirations to win the British and European lightweight titles during the fourth round at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow on March 14, 1980.
“Dad went to Scotland and got a silver medal,” Nash said.
“He rarely talks about it, it’s in the house. Mum would control it and want him to show off a little more, but dad is a little more conservative about it all, so he really doesn’t show off too much, but I know he takes it with a grain of salt. Proud.
“I would love to get a gold medal, I definitely want a medal, but gold is 100 percent the goal.
“I haven’t talked to my dad much about it, but I reckon when it gets closer I’ll start bashing him a bit to see how he takes it.
“I’m too young to remember my Uncle Charlie’s fight with Jim Watt, but I’ve heard stories about it.
“When I got up at the boxing club, Charlie would gossip with me.”
Nash chose between judo and boxing.
“My mom’s (Donna’s) family was all judo, and my dad’s family was boxing, so I grew up around both, and that’s how I came to the stage where I decided on judo,” he added.
“Mum would have competed in judo and things like the European Championships when she was younger, and then she would coach for years, but now she just leaves it to me, but she’s passionate about it.
“Obviously she wanted me to do well in judo, so she was very supportive.
“Judo feels good, I’ve had a really good year in judo and it makes me feel like I want more and want to do more in the sport, so here I am.”
Joshua Green will join Nash in Birmingham, both of whom grew up in the sport.
“When I first started judo, Joshua and I were close since childhood. We’ve been training partners over the years.”
“The nature of the competition has motivated us both all the time, which is also good, we’re at a stage right now where we’re just looking to draw each other and hopefully both of us get on the podium at the Commonwealth Games.
“The more we learn about judo, the more passionate we are and the desire to succeed at the highest level, and we all have ideas that will get us to the top.”
Nash has extensive experience winning medals at major events.
“I’ve won medals in the cadets (junior) at the European Cup and I have a senior silver medal in the European Cup and other competitions around the world. It’s all about having a good day, training well and getting ready ,”He said.
Although only a few months away from Birmingham, it was a long road to choose Nash.
He added: “This is the first time in the last few years that all the programs have played against the program, and it’s definitely the first step towards more competition at this level.”
“I have a lot of training camp coming up right now and starting prep so I can peak in the first week of August, so it’s definitely going to be busy.
“The upcoming training camp is going to be intense, hard but good training, definitely the type of level we need.
“When we were in Ireland we were just competing against each other and you wouldn’t get that level of sparring because there are more judo players in different countries so you need that to keep your sparring at the highest level, so You can feel your best.”
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