Bronwyn Taylor, the UK’s strongest teenager, has come home to share her story

2013-10-15 00:00

WITH her petite form and made-up face you would never guess that Bronwyn Taylor is the UK’s strongest teenager.

Yet the 17-year-old, formerly a pupil at Howick Preparatory School, has held this title since 2012 when she broke British records in the Commonwealth Power­lifting Federation Championships in the under-18 category.

This year, Bronwyn broke another record in the UK by deadlifting 160 kg, a feat she is very pleased with as it is two kilograms away from the Commonwealth record.

Bronwyn made her first visit to South Africa since earning the title to come and share her story with her former school in the hopes that it would help promote healthy living. She chose to come here instead of going to New Zealand to compete in this year’s powerlifting championship.

“I had a choice between South Africa and New Zealand, and it’s South Africa every time. I tell the [schoolchildren] about powerlifting, show them the equipment and introduce them to Cosmo [her brother] because he helps me train. I show them what they can achieve when they push themselves.”

Despite being so strong, she has maintained a normal teenage life.

“I still love to go shopping and wearing make-up and all that beauty stuff.”

Men usually don’t believe how strong Taylor is, especially in the gym. “When I train I always wear false nails, make-up and my hair is done so they would never say that I compete in powerlifting. [Once] I walked into the gym and had 100 kilos on the bar. I did 10 sets, with 10 reps every set and the guys next to us challenged me and they only managed three lifts. They were absolutely gobsmacked. You never challenge me.”

Bronwyn works at her father’s removal company when she is not training in the gym or hanging out with friends.

“We do single item moves to full house moves. It is always funny when I go to lift a TV or a sofa; there is always some old lady who is like ‘Oh No! Don’t let the lassie lift that sofa!’ and my dad tells them ‘Honestly, she can lift that weight; she is stronger than me’.”

Her father, Andrew Taylor, is her coach, training partner and best friend. Going to the gym and participating in sports is ingrained into the Taylor family DNA.

Cosmo (13) has also starting training in powerlifting. Like his sister, he wants to focus on his strength for martial arts. Although Bronwyn focuses solely on powerlifting these days, her brother, father and she are planning to go into body building together for a short while. She is also aiming to compete in the 2016 Olympics Games in weight lifting.

Her mother, Florence Taylor, is extremely proud of her children.

“It’s inspiring. I admire what they do and it’s an encouragement for me. If they can, there is no excuse for me.”

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