Boxing: Coach McCormack surprised by extent of Lochend success

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It would have come as little surprise when boxing coach Terry McCormack was announced Performance Coach of the Year at the annual Activcity Edinburgh Sports Awards.

The Lochend boxing mentor has had a remarkable 2012, nurturing exciting prospects into some of the country’s finest amateur boxing stars.

McCormack was deservedly honoured at the recent event at Broughton High School where he edged out some stiff competition, with Warrender Swimming coach Laurel Bailey and Basketball Scotland’s Luis Romero, finishing runners-up.

McCormack is the figure 
behind the rise of Olympic star Josh Taylor, from which he takes enormous pride. However, taking the acclaim is something McCormack finds difficult.

McCormack said: “It is a proud moment but I’m not about winning awards as it’s the fighters in there that really count. It’s good for the club and all the hard work is being recognised. I am delighted and it was a really good night as I had a few of the committee and my wife Jackie there as well.

“I think probably Josh qualifying for the Olympics was a big thing for the club, but also getting our first British champion in Lewis Benson. At the beginning of the year we also had two Scottish champions with both Lewis and Pushkar Singh winning – and that was without Josh and others at the club entering.

McCormack admits the targets achieved in 2012 have far outweighed his own expectations, a success which has raised the club’s profile to become one of the country’s leading amateur boxing gyms. However, not content to soak up the triumphs of this year, he is already predicting a prosperous 2013 with a desire to see further national champions at the top of his wish list.

“I probably didn’t see all this happening this year. We had goals, but for this to happen is a great achievement. We’ve got the Scottish Championships coming up again in February so we’ll be looking to get the guys ready and hopefully better what we did last year. We want another British champion as well next year and I’m expecting a big year ahead for Tommy Philbin. He’s been really unlucky with injuries but he is a special talent and I think this will be his year.

“Josh and Aston Brown have signed up for WSB (World Series of Boxing), so they will be travelling the world, which is really exciting. The first match is in two weeks’ time in America, but they are saving Josh for a home tie which is against Italy and will be in Wales. Josh will hopefully get his rematch with Valentino who he lost to in the Olympics.”

The club, which first opened in the summer of 2007, is producing results way beyond its years. With over 30 years’ experience as a competitor, trainer and coach, McCormack’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport are proving invaluable.

He added: “I knew what I was aiming for. I have been round all the clubs over the years and I knew how I wanted to do it. I have been back and forward to America picking up good tips and I am just putting them all into practice. Everything that has happened is what I have been aiming for, but you do need a bit of luck along the way. Any money that comes into the club, we put it towards the fighters with the equipment, tracksuits, etc so it’s all there for them.”