Eight years after he stepped away from the boxing ring, Boyd Bayne is still getting recognition for his accomplishments. It’s the price to pay for success.
This year, 2008, Boyd is being recognized as an inductee into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame. In August of 2007, Boxing B.C. awarded him with the Harold Mann Boxing Achievement Award for his efforts as a coach and official. In Boyd's 20 years as a coach at the Spruce Capital Boxing Club, he worked as a trainer and mentor to several Canadian amateur boxing champions.
But Boyd, a 65-year-old native of Trail, doesn’t list the gold medals the Spruce Capital boxers won as his biggest highlight. Even the thrill of joining his son, Allan Bayne, at the 1984 Commonwealth Games in Victoria isn’t what satisfies him the most.
“I’ve thought about (my fondest memory of coaching) a number of times and I think that it’s where some mother or father would bring their sons to the boxing club who were having problems in school and on the street and we’d sit down and we’d have a conversation of what was going on,” Boyd said. “After six months or a year, their parents would come back and they’d go, ‘Wow.’ Their grades go up and you can sure tell the difference in the home with their attitude. That’s a real highlight – to be able to take somebody that’s having problems in life.”
Allan Bayne, a Prince George Sports Hall of Fame member who won nine B.C. amateur titles with his father as his coach, said the sport of boxing is an avenue many troubled youth have taken. And boxing has turned their lives around in a positive way.
“You get a high from accomplishing things,” he said. “Boxing gives you more steps in life to reach goals and stuff like that, and (you get the opportunity) to travel all around the world.”
Mann, a British Empire Games champion and a three-time Canadian amateur champion, urged Boyd to take up coaching. Despite never having boxed competitively himself, Boyd accepted the offer.
“Harold Mann and I were the very best of friends,” he said. “And one day Harold phoned me up and said, ‘Boyd I need you to come down and I want you to coach.’”
Boyd, who had been around boxing most of his life, got the coaching bug and never quit. During the prime of his coaching career, he often spent more hours at the gym than his boxers did. The Spruce Capital club was consistently full, with between 50 and 60 members, during his tenure as head coach.
“It became a full-time job,” said Boyd, who put on a total of 10 fight cards in Prince George. “There were times that your wife (was) at home, or it’d be your wife’s birthday or it was your anniversary or your kid’s birthday and it didn’t really matter to Allan as much.”
Boyd joined Team B.C. at several Canadian championships. Among the memorable events in Prince George he had a role in organizing were the Champions for Children competitions in 1989 and 1990. The $15,000 raised went back into the community to help organizations like the Child Development Centre.
Boyd has been selected for Prince George Sports Hall of Fame membership in the coach/builder category. He was nominated by Allan, who was inducted as an athlete in 2005.
“It’s a great honour to see my dad being inducted with myself because if his time and effort wasn’t there, lots of us wouldn’t have even excelled to where we are today, I can promise you that,” Allan said.
After two decades as head coach at Spruce Capital, Boyd stepped away from the job. But, he remained close to boxing. He became a ringside official, which kept his passion for the sport alive.