Thursday 17 April 2014

New boxing centre fit for an Olympian

20 Jan 2013; GV of new facilities: 1st floor gym at Bray Boxing Club, Bray Co. Wicklow. Picture: Caroline Quinn
1st floor gym at Bray Boxing Club, Bray Co. Wicklow. Picture: Caroline Quinn

THE once-derelict boat shed where boxing champ Katie Taylor honed her skills is now one of the top training centres in the country.

When the family received planning permission to use the decrepit building overlooking Bray harbour just over six years ago, it looked like "an old castle without a roof".

But Peter Taylor - an electrician as well as Katie's father, coach and mentor - says that the days of her lacking the most basic of amenities are over.

Mr Taylor said that the club's membership had doubled since the work was completed.

"We're the best equipped club in the country now. Obviously bathroom facilities are a necessity - but we didn't even have those before," he said, remembering how his daughter used to have to run to a nearby pub.

The number of female boxers at Bray Boxing Club has also rocketed in recent times, as the club has made attracting new female members one of their main priorities.

Mr Taylor said: "We're probably at the forefront of encouraging girls at the club. There's a huge amount of girls boxing now, but we're probably 50/50 at the moment between boys and girls.

"Even around the country there are lots of girls boxing. That's the legacy Katie has left."

Irish Independent

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