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Want to follow Katie? Join the queue, girls

BOXING clubs have had to create waiting lists for girls to join since Katie Taylor's triumph at the Olympics.

Her father Pete has revealed that huge numbers of young women are now looking to take up the sport for the first time.

The Olympic boxing coach who runs Bray Boxing Club told the Herald: "It's great to see the uptake in the boxing clubs. My own club now has a waiting list because we've so many people looking to join.

"I've a load of girls. They're 50/50 with the men. I train everybody in the club and they are all absolutely brilliant and they're so committed as well. We have girls from eight up to 30 years of age.

"The girls spar with the boys all the time. They're all the same. They're not girls; they're just boxers in the club. There's no difference to us."

Mr Taylor said he was delighted that his daughter's Olympic gold had encouraged young people to take up the sport.

"I think it was the same after Michael Carruth won his gold medal. It comes around, like when Stephen Roche was cycling everyone was riding their bicycles, and everybody's boxing now. So it's great because once you get the kids off the streets that's all that matters; as long as they're doing something."

And he was not ruling out another Olympics for the 26-year-old from Bray: "If Katie stays amateur she'll be looking at Rio but we don't know what she's going to do yet."

Pete, who is an ex-boxing champ himself, said he always knew Katie would achieve great things in the sport.

"I think the first time she put on a pair of boxing gloves she was unbelievable, she was in sparring with the boys from day one."

He also paid tribute to the other Dublin clubs that facilitated her and in doing so allowed for the growth of women's boxing: "A few of the clubs around the area always accommodated her, and had Katie sparring with their boys, without them Katie wouldn't be where she is now."

But the proud dad said that no matter what she decides to do in the future, he will be proud of her.

"I was proud of Katie before the Olympics. After the medals have all gone I'd rather people remember Katie for the person she is and not for the medals she has won."

hnews@herald.ie


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