Provost congratulates Youth Olympic Champion

Published: Friday 9 February 2024

This image shows Holly in Team GB tracksuit and wearng her gold medal, standing with Provost Cooper who is presenting her with a silver trinket box.

Olympic gold medallist Holly Burke picked up another accolade this week - from South Lanarkshire Provost Margaret Cooper.

Provost Cooper invited Holly and her mum Caroline to meet her following the 16-year-old’s winning performance as part of Team GB’s curling mixed rink at the Youth Winter Olympics in South Korea last month. 

Holly and fellow Scots Tia Laurie, Archie Hyslop and Logan Carson, fought off the challenge of Team Denmark to clinch victory in a hard-fought final, and the prized title of Olympic champions. 

And Provost Cooper took the chance to congratulate the talented youngster in person, as well as present her with an engraved silver trinket box on behalf of the people of South Lanarkshire. 

She said: “South Lanarkshire has a very long and successful reputation in sporting excellence, across a wide range of sports, and Holly has added youth curling to that list.  

“Her talent and hard work have deservedly won her the title, of Olympic Champion, and as Provost of South Lanarkshire, I wanted to acknowledge, applaud, and honour such an elite achievement. 

“I wish this exceptionally talented young woman every success in whatever path she now follows. Her determination and commitment will take her a very long way, I am sure.”

Trainee hairdresser Holly is a former pupil of Hamilton Grammar School and now combines her studies with part-time work for South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture at Chatelherault Country Park. 

Her youth Olympic gold is the culmination of years of training and competing, as a member of the Scottish National Curling Academy, and the Scottish Curling Future Leaders Programme. Before the South Korea Games she had also represented Scotland at the NJCT mixed doubles, placing third in the Scottish Junior Championships in both 2022 and 2023.  

Competitive sport has run through her blood since childhood, having also represented her country in gymnastics.  She and acrobatic partner Dean Patterson both qualified to represent Scotland but both also harboured ambitions of Olympic glory. 

Unfortunately, their gymnastic discipline was not a recognised Olympic sport, so Holly turned to curling, and Dean to track sprinting.  And the gamble paid off - and not just for gold medallist Holly. Dean also represented Scotland on the track in the Youth Commonwealth Games last summer. 

Holly’s next challenge is to secure the sponsorship needed to allow her to continue to compete at the highest level in competitive curling.

Added mum Caroline: “This whole experience really is Holly’s dream come true and has allowed her to set her targets even higher. There is still the remaining competition for this season, and she hopes to be overall U21 champion with her current team. 

"Next season will see the same U21 competitions, and the team will be aiming for higher than 3rd in the Scottish Junior Championships. So to help meet all the associated costs we are reaching out to local businesses who might be willing to offer sponsorship; without it, unfortunately, the season becomes too financially challenging.

"It has been lovely for Holly to meet the Provost this week and we are grateful for the kindness and support shown to us.  Recognition like this makes the hard work and effort all the more worthwhile.” 

Any business or organisation interested in offering sponsorship for Holly next season can contact her team by email.