Gemma eyes up Games glory

Gemma Neill at the British Championships in Glasgow.
Gemma Neill at the British Championships in Glasgow.

A local cyclist is set to dedicate the next six months to training hard hoping her final destination will be the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Gemma Neill, from Inverkeilor, has passed up the opportunity to start a new job in England and instead is focusing on earning a place to represent Scotland in the road race at the Glasgow games in the summer.

Gemma Neill

Gemma Neill

The 29-year-old is a former Inverkeilor Primary and Arbroath High School pupil and recently graduated from the University of Dundee with a nursing degree.

She took up cycling four years ago and has been training while studying and working part-time at a care home in Monifieth.

And now she has her hopes pinned on competing at this summer’s premier sporting event.

She told the Herald: “Initially I was doing triathlon and although my running was OK, my swimming wasn’t so good so I decided to concentrate on cycling.

“I’m really competitive and didn’t want to just do it for leisure so I started training and now I have a coach, John Bremner from Arbroath.

“For the next six months I’m going to be concentrating on racing full-time and I have races in Belgium and Holland with the national squad.

“And hopefully I can get the results I need for the national squad and hope to be selected. It would be amazing if I could be after all these years of work.”

Gemma will find out later this year if she has made the team and after the games will start a staff nurse job at the Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

She added: “I was offered a really good job down south but I have put that on hold so I can concentrate on cycling.

“It hasn’t been easy doing my degree and working as well as cycle training so I hope it all pays off.”

People can keeping up to date with Gemma’s progress on Twitter @gneill55