Kirkintilloch curler Ross Paterson is back at work after an 18-month sabbatical - with a World championship medal in his pocket.
The 34-year-old trading standards officer with East Dunbartonshire Council has returned to his desk after taking a year and a half off to train full-time.
His original target had been a place in this year’s Winter Olympics, but that bid ended in disappointment when his team wasn’t selected.
But he still went back to work on a high - after being part of a five-man team which won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Scotland took the bronze - their first medal at this level in curling since 2013 - following a comfortable 11-4 win over South Korea.
Ross said: “Winning bronze at the World Championships was a great experience. I have been curling for a long time and have been to quite a few major events, but I haven’t won a medal since Junior level in 2005.
“Being able to walk down the middle of the ice during the medal ceremony and be on the podium was really special.”
Ross says that the knowledge that he had his job to return to allowed him to devote himself to his training regime without worry.
He said: “Applying for a sabbatical was a straightforward process. I am so grateful for being allowed to take the time to train full-time. Not every employer would agree to that.”
He added: “I was able to really enjoy the time and always knew that I was coming back to my job. Even when I have been competing in the past and needed to travel to events, my employer has been very accommodating with time off.”
Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener of Place, Neighbourhood and Community said: “It is always heartening to see someone from our community achieve
“We are delighted at Ross’s accomplishment. Winning a medal for your country is the epitome of sporting achievement. All his hard work and extra
training has clearly paid off and we wish him well.”
Ross, who trains at the national curling facility in Stirling and at Braehead, will continue train and take part in events in his spare time. He is now looking forward to the European Championships at the start of December 2018.