We’ve all been there, watching be it a quiz show or a reality show on TV and thinking to ourselves ‘yeah, I could do that’ but where as for most of us, that’s just talk, in the case of Ballymac’s Paul Culloty, he went all the way.
Paul has been living in Townsville, near Queensland in Australia for a number of years now where he works as a truck driver. He had been a big fan of the show ‘Australian Ninja Warrior’ for many years and one night as he and his friends were watching the show, they encouraged him to enter, and that’s exactly what he did.
Speaking to The Kerryman from his home in Australia, Paul tells us that semi-final episodes had just aired that night and that sadly, he hadn’t made the cut for the final. This did not stop him from happily chatting about what he describes as having been a great experience overall.
“I’d been watching it the last couple of years and I’d always thought it was a good bit of a laugh. I had the lads around one night last year and we were just having a couple of beers and we were watching the show and we just said, ‘we should give that a go’,” said Paul.
“I used to do a lot of sports when I was home and I figured I’d give it a go for the craic,” he continued.
After applying for the show, Paul was offered a tryout in Brisbane before being flown to Melbourne in March of this year where he took part in the heats and from here, he qualified for the semi-final stages.
“It’s a lot harder than what you see on TV. The thing about it is, the obstacles, they are very technical. I found that there obstacles where I wasn’t really tired on them, it was just the technicality of them where you could mess up.
Also the fact that they’re all piled together, like if you took your time between them, it wouldn’t be too bad but you’ve to go at it full tilt,” said Paul.
As for what section of the course that he found hardest, Paul said that it was without a doubt, a section called ‘the bar hop’.
“You had to jump up onto this floating bar and it’s sitting inside this sort of very smooth horseshoe and you have to jump out of this with the bar and onto the next one.
It was hard and it was a bigger gap than I was expecting. That part was more of a mental battle for me and I was delighted when I got through it because I thought if I was going to fail, it would have been on that. I got through it though and it was good,” Paul said.
Overall, he said that the whole thing was a “brilliant experience” aided by the fact that as part of the show, Paul was one of the 30 out of 150 contestants chosen by the TV crew to have his background featured on the show as well.
“I had a camera crew come and film a few days with me out in the truck which was great. I definitely got a good amount of airtime,” he laughed.