International Women's Day: Katie Taylor

International Women's Day: Katie Taylor


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Real Lifters: International Women's Day 2020

This International Women's Day, we're celebrating the women in our lives who lift us to our goals, to our potential and to our truest selves.

We stand by each for equal, and the ideal that every single person - no matter their race, views or upbringing - should be entitled to the same opportunities as the person next to them. This being said, none of that would be possible without the selflessness, loyalty and courage of the women who support us in everything we do.

So, in order to support the females in our lives that lift us to fight for glory; realise our potential; push boundaries and break misconceptions, we're bringing you six days of incredible and inspiring stories from six amazing women. 

Today, marks the third story. To find more from this years International Women's Day campaign, click here.

Bridget Taylor: The Unseen Coach Propelling Her Daughter To Glory

After watching the video below, please take a few minutes that you'd otherwise spend scrolling through Instagram, to stop and explore Katie Taylor's truth. Known to the media as an undefeated, two-weight world champ, Katie ventures deeper into who she is behind all of the titles, and how her mam has never let her stray too far from home.

[Our Learning]:
Find your roots, and understand how they ground you. That way, no matter the challenges you face, you know that you have something to bring you back home. Back to reality.

A quote, from live television. Said directly to Katie Taylor...

"This is a minority sport for a reason. Girls take up these sports, there has to be a line drawn somewhere."

To most, fighting for glory would be championed by accolades, titles and pieces of metal hung delicately on colourful ribbon. To Katie Taylor, it was more than that. It was fighting - in what until recently, was predominately a male-dominated sport - to simply compete in boxing, as a woman. 

"This is what I was born to do."
- Katie Taylor

And so her story as Kay Taylor - a young, ambitious boy from Bray - began. 

"I used to have to pretend I was a boy to get into some of these boxing competitions" Katie recalls; explaining to us how her hair would be bundled up into her headgear before stepping out.

It was a short-term fix. But, it was the start of a legacy that would extend far beyond the boxing ring. Her persistence and impeccable technique were changing people's old-fashioned ideas about women's boxing in Ireland.

"The uproar you'd hear as I took my headgear off at the end of a fight, and Katie from Bray was revealed..." she laughs. 

But, where does all this temerity come from?

. . . 

"'Every child is born for greatness'.

"That's what my mam told me, and I wouldn't be where I am today without those words"

. . . 

Having re-written the rulebook by becoming the first female boxing judge in Ireland, Bridget Taylor's support for the sport is unquestionable. 

"I've fought over 300 times, and yet she's never missed one of my fights" exclaims Katie when asked about her mam's support. "If she can't be there in person, I'll ring her straight away. She'll have already seen the fight, but in those first five seconds she can tell if I'm okay or not."

Lifted By Her Mam

"It's not when you're winning that you need your family. It's when your at your lowest."

Katie's rise has been meteoric. Capturing the public’s imagination like little else in recent memory, and backed by hordes of fans across the globe, the fighting pride of Ireland has gone from relative unknown to one of the most recognisable - and divisive - figures in sport and popular culture. But, life is never simple and not everything has been been plain sailing.

In 2016 Katie experienced her first major loss at the Rio Olympics. No matter your sporting discipline or professionalism, it's safe to say that the feeling of your first defeat will remain with you throughout your career. How you use that to better yourself, is completely down to you. 

With a lack in confidence and self-belief, Katie's mam was there to help guide her through arguably the toughest time in her profession. 

The stages, the stakes, even the sport has changed, but according to Katie, her mam's determination and supportive attitude has not. 

"It doesn't matter where you grow up, you can always make something of yourself."

"I'm undefeated. I'm a two-weight world champion. I've fought in every corner of the globe. But. When I'm back home with mam, I'm just Katie from Bray."

You get knocked down. You get back up. You embrace failure to keep on fighting for a future that's fair. 


Celebrate your lifter with #RealLifters and tag @Gymshark 



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