An aspiring Moray cycling star is appealing to generous locals for help pursuing her dream of competing on the grand stage.
Georgia Mansfield was named as one of the top young sportswomen in Scotland last year, and harbours ambitions of representing Team GB at the Olympics.
But, unless the 17-year-old is able to collect enough cash to keep up training sessions in Glasgow, she faces falling behind her competitors.
The youngster and her supporters have now launched a fundraising campaign to amass the £5,000 she needs for the next phase of her tuition.
Georgia lives near Miltonduff, and has to fork out huge sums on travel and accommodation while taking part in vital fortnightly training sessions in the Central Belt.
She said: “It’s really hard to get down there, and staying overnight is expensive.
“But for the sort of training I need to do, I have to visit Glasgow because there aren’t the indoor facilities for it in Moray.”
She added: “I got into cycling properly about three years ago when watching the Tour De France, and after giving it a go I realised how much I loved it.”
The Elgin High School pupil estimates that she needs £8,500 to continue training over the next two years, and aims to turn professional next year.
Yesterday, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead stepped out of his suit and tie and into a pair of lycra cycling shorts as he pedalled from his Elgin home to meet Georgia at Miltonduff.
The SNP politician is a keen amateur cyclist – and is backing Georgia’s fundraising campaign.
Mr Lochhead said he would ask Scottish rail chiefs about allowing Georgia reduced fares when she journeys back and forth between Moray and Glasgow.
He said: “Cycling has really taken off in Scotland and it’s great to learn that we have got emerging talent like Georgia here in Moray.
“The cycling community is getting behind her, and I’ve offered to do what I can to help ensure that Georgia can meet the costs involved with training.
“I want to help make sure she has every chance of putting Moray on the cycling map.”
Donations can be pledged to help support Georgia at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Project-Georgia.