A teenage baton twirler from Bilston was on top of the world recently, beating competitors from across the globe at an international tournament in France last month.
Beeslack High School pupil Ruby Quinn (15) took gold in the two baton Junior 15-17 section of the International Cup.
Her mum Nicola, who is also a coach at Ruby’s club, Edinburgh Twirling Academy, said: “She went to represent Scotland and her club. They train in Edinburgh at various places. She went as part of Team Scotland. You have to go through a selection process to qualify to compete.
“It was a huge competition, attended by 20 countries from around the world with over 1200 athletes. She was one of the youngest in her section. In her section alone there were 70 girls, so it was very hard.
“Last year she won European gold and now this year gold in a competition open to athletes from around the world.
“So she is making amazing progress. And this win proves it. It’s just about progressing even further. It’s even harder now, with a lot of training ahead as next year she has a big competition in Spain.”
Ruby competed in three other events in France, finishing fifth and eighth twice. Making all her hard work worth it. Nicola added: “She has been doing baton twirling since she was three-years-old. She loves it.
“She trains four or five nights a week and she is in competitions at the weekend.
“She goes straight from school to training. It’s a big commitment and hard work, but she loves it. So it’s all worthwhile.”
Nicola spoke about the struggles facing the sport.
She said: “It’s a big financial commitment. We do as many fundraisers as we can.
“It’s really hard, as the UK doesn’t recognise baton twirling as a sport, so funding is not available for us.
“We don’t get any financial help other than support from Midlothian Council.
“The council gives her a gym membership and use of halls for training, as part of the council’s talented performers scheme, which is really handy for big competition training.”