Meet Strabane’s very own Ninja Warrior

Paul Connolly, who has been short-listed for a forthcoming series of ITV’s Ninja Warrior.

ACCORDING to Japanese folklore a ‘ninja’ was a covert agent or mercenary but now-a-days they are more likely to be a contestant on a popular TV show.

Ninja Warrior UK is the British version of a Japanese assault course game show and one Strabane warrior just might be making the cut.


Paul Connolly has been shortlisted to appear on the increasingly popular game show after he nailed the obstacle course in the audition stages.

The 34-year-old father of one decided to take on the Ninja Warrior UK challenge after he saw an advert looking for auditionees on TV.

“I saw the ad with my son Conall, and it was actually him who suggested I should give it ago,” said Paul.

“I am pretty athletic, I train in the gym most days and do the odd marathon so I decided to look in to it.”

The show brings together competitors from all over the UK to take on TV’s toughest obstacle course.

Promoting itself as the ultimate test of strength, speed and courage viewers watch as contestants are pushed to their limits.

Not fazed by this, Paul duly filled out the application form and made it through to the Belfast auditions which took place earlier in the month.

Describing the obstacle course as a “unique challenge” Paul was well fit for all that was asked of him and was the first competitor in his stage to complete the course.

“It was different. The obstacle course ran for about an hour and a half, with only a few minute intervals. There is no doubt my fitness ability stood by me. I try to keep active and like to push myself but this was something new to anything else I have ever done before.”

Following the auditions Paul received confirmation that he had made it through to the next stage in the selection process.

If successful Paul will appear on the show which will be aired later this year.

Explaining that fitness was only part of the package Paul said he also had to take part in a brief interview which will be a deciding factor if he is to make the final cut.

“As part of the auditions I also had to do a quick interview, tell them a bit about myself, why I want to be part of the show etc, it was fun.

“There are thousands of other contestants competing for around 200 spots, so there is no certainty I will get picked but maybe they will like my accent,” he laughed.

“Either way I will continue on with own health and fitness regime and if I make the final spot-even better”.


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