Financial aid for Olympics hopeful

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KILSYTH triathlete Gavin Alexander has been hand-picked as a future British Olympian after being chosen to be part of the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes initiative.

The 16-year-old Lenzie Academy pupil will receive a cash injection of £1,000 towards training and competing and is one of only 82 youngsters selected from across the country.

Alexander attended the launch at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena where he rubbed shoulders with Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger and Commonwealth champion Robbie Renwick.

And Alexander – a member of Stirling Triathlon Club – reckons his recent recognition will be just the confidence boost he needs ahead of a hectic rest of the year.

“It was a great moment when I found out I was going to be on the scheme, the money is so useful in a sport like triathlon,” said Alexander.

“It will go on stuff like accommodation and flights when I travel to races, which can get quite expensive.

“It’s also great to be recognised, to know that you are on the right track and that the hard work is paying off.

“I had a great year last year, my last as a youth, and now I’m making the step up to junior so, despite still being 16, I will be racing against 18 and 19-year-olds.

“It’s a demanding sport and with schoolwork as well it demands a lot of organisation but my dream is to be at an Olympics one day so it is worth the hard work.”

As part of Bank of Scotland’s London 2012 legacy, Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, will provide support and funding to 82 emerging Scottish athletes in 2013. Over 220 Local Heroes have benefited from the programme since 2008. Follow Scotland’s future stars at facebook.com/bankofscotlandlocalheroes