RISING Southland cycling star Emily Paterson (18) received a big welcome home at the Invercargill Airport after she won a silver medal at the World Junior Track Cycling Championship in Germany.
Friends and fellow pupils from James Hargest College, family and Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt met her at the airport to celebrate her achievement.
Pupils performed a haka, while other friends had ‘welcome home’ signs and balloons.
After disembarking, the young cyclist was surprised with the welcome and happily showed off her silver medal.
“I thought my family would come, but would never expect this. It is quite emotional. I’m a bit overwhelmed.”
Sir Tim was pleased to acknowledge her achievement.
“Southland and Invercargill is proud of her.”
James Hargest principal Andy Wood agreed, saying it was also important to note another pupil, Conor Shearing, had a great result in the competition as well.
He competed in the New Zealand men’s team and finished in fourth place.