A MENSTRIE girl was recently crowned Scottish BMX champion less than two years after taking an interest in the sport.

Holly Hume, who attends Menstrie Primary School, got a BMX for her birthday during lockdown and her journey took off from there.

The nine-year-old has competed with both boys and girls and is now the country's champion for her age group.

With no clubs in Clacks, Holly, her mum Claire and dad Aaron travel through to North Lanarkshire where she is a member of the Cumbernauld Centurions.

Claire told the Advertiser: "She absolutely loves it. Her first half season was 2021 and during the first year you ride as a novice. She was in the mixed category, riding with boys.

"At the end of the first year she stepped up to be an expert. She was Novice of the Year at the club as well."

For Holly to be so successful has come as a surprise to the family, who never really took a keen interest in cycling.

Aaron continued: "To be honest we've had bikes but we've never really been a cycling family.

"It's something that came totally out the blue."

Claire added: "I think she just wanted something different. She likes to be different.

"She got a BMX for her birthday and Aaron created a ramp in the back garden for her and she was loving it so we took her to Beechwood Park in Stirling because there's absolutely nothing in Clacks.

"Again, she absolutely loved it."

Then, just a month after her ninth birthday, Holly and the family travelled to the Scottish BMX Championships at Knightswood in Glasgow on June 8 and she defeated other nine and 10 year olds to win the title.

Claire added: "I don't know if she appreciated the enormity of it, I don't think any of us did.

"It was almost just another race then all of a sudden my daughter's the Scottish champion."

Whether this turns out to be a career option remains to be seen but the representation of female athletes in the media and on television is certainly giving Holly some ideas.

Claire said: "I think the Olympics has really put it into perspective [for her].

"She raced in a national event on her track and Bethany Shriever [who made history by winning BMX gold for Team GB at Tokyo 2020] was on her track and, I think, to see that was amazing.

"I think Holly though: 'This is something I could achieve because this girl is on my track, somewhere where I train'.

"Obviously, we'll keep encouraging her and doing whatever we can do to continue to support her.

"She was watching [Commonwealth Games gold medalist] Eilish McColgan and said she might fancy doing athletics too."