A PAIR of southsiders have received a welcome boost in their bid to become Olympians.
Both Giffnock gymnast Victoria Clow and Newton Mearns based hockey star Alison Howie have been hand-picked to receive a cash injection of £1,000 from the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes initiative.
The sporty duo, who both attended Craigholme school, are two of only 82 youngsters selected from across Scotland. Victoria attended the launch of the scheme at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Leisure Centre, where she rubbed shoulders with Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards and World Championship bronze medallist Lee McConnell.
The youngster had her fair share of set backs in the last year — including a broken back — but she says her recent recognition is just the confidence boost she needed as she looks to get back to her best in 2012.
The 2010 Commonwealth games team member told The Extra: “It was really nice to be picked. It gives me confidence because it makes me think that people still believe I have a lot of potential.
“Last year was awful with the injury I had to my back and so it was nice to be picked to get some funding despite that.
“In rhythmic gymnastics the best countries in the world are Russia and Bulgaria and so we have to go there, or pay for their coaches to come here, quite often to help us improve.
“So getting the funding this year will definitely help with that as well and hopefully I can be back competing well in time for the Scottish Championships in June.”
Scotland under 21 hockey ace Alison hopes the funding boost will help her towards her goal of her first senior international cap.
The Strathclyde University student, who plays for Milne Craig Western, told The Extra: “It’s an honour to be selected and hopefully I can have a good 2012 season now.
“I was in the Scotland senior squad last year but wasn’t able to win a cap so hopefully this summer I can get one or two”.
Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 82 of Scotland’s most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond.
Follow the future stars at facebook.com/bankofscotlandlocalheroes.