Nicole leads from the front

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A CRAIGHOLME schoolgirl is set to captain Scotland at the world schools ski championships.

The Scottish schools ski association will battle it out in Gressonay, Italy, led by fifth-year pupil Nicole Ritchie from Newton Mearns.

The youngsters competed in giant slalom yesterday and will compete in slalom tomorrow.

Head coach Ronnie Naismith has high hopes for Nicole and the rest of the squad.

He told ExtraSport: “We are going out there to get on the podium. We are competing against the best Alpine nations in the world. Despite being a lowland nation, we have a very strong team of athletes.

“They are really up against it but are more than capable of getting a medal. They are all well motivated and determined. Scotland is the underdog but we certainly have bite”.

Belmont House school teacher Andy Tieger is involved in the coaching set-up and athletes from Glasgow ski racing make up the majority of the team.

The team are meeting children from countries such as Iran, Chile, Austria, Italy and Bulgaria and traded memorabilia yesterday at a meeting of nations.