Sunday 19 August 2018

Boxing club evolved under Pete Taylor's eye

Pete Taylor with Enda Kenny in 2012
Pete Taylor with Enda Kenny in 2012

Mary Fogarty

Pete Taylor's name is synonymous with Bray Boxing Club.

The club's facilities were significantly upgraded in 2014 in the wake of Pete's daughter Katie's Olympic success.

There was controversy following her gold-medal win when it became common knowledge that the club had no toilet facilities for girls, who were facilitated by the nearby Harbour Bar.

In a visit to Bray in 2012, then Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Pete and viewed the club, where he was shocked to see the Spartan facilities. Katie had fought in London that summer, along with Irish team-mate and fellow Bray Boxing Club member Adam Nolan.

Work got under way at the club in August 2013, with a second storey and extensions added. The official opening occurred the following February.

The facility has changing rooms for men and women, a kitchen, a large physical training area and a full size ring.

Bray Town Council secured €190,000 in funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to fund the project, and invested €100,000 from its own resources.

Leeds native Peter Taylor came to Ireland in the 1970s when he started out working in an amusement arcade in Bray. He put down roots in the town, and went on to a 1986 Irish intermediate title victory before coaching.

He coached his daughter throughout her childhood and beyond the London Olympics of 2012, but by Rio 2016 the duo had parted company. Katie Taylor now boxes as a professional in the United States.

Wicklow People