Table tennis player Lynda Flaws, 19, who won her first senior Scottish title earlier this month, has been hand-picked as a future British Olympian.
She was chosen to be part of the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes initiative and will receive a cash injection of £1,000 towards training and competing. Lynda is one of only 82 youngsters selected from across Scotland.
She attended the launch of the scheme at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Leisure Centre, where she rubbed shoulders with former Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards and Scottish sprinter Lee McConnell, a World Championship bronze medallist.
After claiming her first senior Scottish table tennis title at the start of the month Lynda admitted her funding boost had capped off a memorable few days.
“I was quite shocked to be picked,” she said. “It was a privilege and it made a good week even better having won the national title for the first time.
“The funding is going to be a big help because I have got quite a lot of events that I am working towards this year starting with the World Team Championships at the end of March.
“The goal there is to try and win a few games and get lots of experience but I will go there with a lot of confidence now having won the national title and been selected as a Local Hero.”
In total 346 talented athletes are part of the programme with 264 Lloyds TSB Local Heroes in England and Wales also receiving funding towards training and competing.
Lee McConnell, who is gunning for a 400 metres berth at the London 2012 Olympics this summer, believes Lynda and others are the future of Scottish and sport.
She said: “These guys coming up are the future talent across various sports and it’s great that investment is being put in, not just financially, but in terms of spending time with them and getting them ready for a career in sport.
“It’s something I’d have loved to have when I was coming up through the sport and it’s great for them to have that recognition at such a young age.”