East Dunbartonshire Council's curling champion Ross Paterson is celebrating World Cup success after picking up a bronze medal in Beijing.
The Fair Trading Officer for the Trading Standards team and his Scottish rink claimed third place in the Curling World Cup in China as they missed out on making it to the final by the narrowest of margins after battling it out against the world’s top curling teams.
Team Paterson went into their final Group B game needing just a point against the world's number 1 ranked team Canada 2 to seal a spot in the final. However, the Scots fell to a slender 7-6 defeat which saw the Canadian rink through to face hosts China on their head-to-head record.
Ross, 35, said, "The World Cup series was a new series of events for this year and we qualified for the finals after finishing third in an event in Sweden.
"I'm obviously delighted to win the bronze medal but there is a feeling that it could have been more.
"Canada 2 went on to win the final against China so at least we can say we lost out to the eventual World Cup winners.
"Beijing is where the Winter Olympics will be held in 2022 and that is my ultimate aim. It was good to get a sneak peek at what the set-up out there is going to be like."
The result means that Team Paterson has progressed up the world rankings from 8th to 7th as they head into their summer break. Ross is now looking forward to competing in the Scottish Championships next February where victory would secure his team a place in April's World Championships being held in Glasgow.
He said, "It has been a busy season so it will be good to enjoy a bit of time off the ice catching up with friends and family.
"We started the season ranked 20th in the world and will finish it in seventh place and firmly established in the top 10. We want to build on that for next year and it would be a dream come true to compete in the World Championship in Glasgow."
Last year Ross returned to his council job following an 18-month sabbatical which he took to train full-time. In April 2018 he was part of the five man team which won bronze at the World Championships after beating South Korea before leading his curling team to their first Grand Slam victory in Canada in December.
Ross added, "East Dunbartonshire Council has been fantastic in supporting me and allowing me the time away to compete. I’ve been so fortunate and it's great knowing I have the support of my manager and colleagues."
Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener of the Council's Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets Committee, said, "Everyone at the Council is delighted at what Ross and his team have managed to accomplish this year.
"To win a bronze medal for Scotland at the first Curling World Cup is a tremendous achievement and is a testament to his skill and professionalism.
"Winning a medal for your country is the epitome of sporting achievement and we will be watching with great interest to see how Ross and his team get on in next year's Scottish Championships.”