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18 April 2019

Cycling gold medallist trades helmet for hard hat as he receives hero’s homecoming

Cycling gold medallist trades helmet for hard hat as he receives hero’s homecoming

A cycling Olympic gold medallist has been given a hero’s welcome after he returned to work following a whirlwind week in the Middle East.

Twenty-year-old Glaswegian Ruairidh Brown finished top of the podium representing Great Britain in the 10K Time Trial at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi last week.

Ruairidh, who works as a labourer with infrastructure business Robertson, returned to find the site of the University of Glasgow's Joseph Black Building refurbishment decorated in gold to mark his incredible achievement.

In recognition of his achievement, both Robertson and the University of Glasgow have pledged to support the self-funded cyclist, who has a speech and reading impairment, to enter future competitions.

Ruairidh said: "I knew nothing about it - this was a big surprise. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone I work with!"

Ed Parry, managing director, Robertson Central West, said: "We're all immensely proud of Ruairidh and not at all surprised at his incredible success, having witnessed the drive and determination he brings to the construction site that no doubt led him to achieving the Gold medal.

"As a Gold Investors in People (IIP) and Investors in Young People (IIYP) employer, it's really important to us to provide our employees with the flexibility to pursue their passions, and it's something that the wider built environment industry should be building into their young people strategies. In Ruairidh's example, he's gone on to achieve something truly exceptional."

To allow Ruairidh to fulfil his demanding training schedule, he works a four-day, flexible week while being supported by Robertson to achieve the industry qualifications necessary to enhance his career.

Ed continued: "Just 9 per cent of young people would consider a career in the construction industry and it's people like Ruairidh that can help us change that by highlighting that you can balance a fulfilling career while also taking the time to focus on wider interests. He's a fantastic ambassador for young people across the country."

Peter Haggarty, Director of Construction and Capital Programme at the University of Glasgow, said: "Congratulations to Ruairidh on his fantastic achievement, which no doubt involved a huge amount of dedication to balance the demands of his job here at the University with training and fundraising for the Special Olympics.

"Not every employer can say they have an Olympic gold medallist on their team and both the University and Robertson are fortunate to have Ruairidh on board."