IT’S the start of another year, bringing us renewed faith that we can achieve our hopes and dreams, whatever they may be – it’s new, it’s exciting and anything is possible.

This must be the way Kirsty Gilmour, Scotland’s No 1 badminton player, feels. Kirsty has had a totally fresh start to the new year and, in anyone’s book, it sounds like an adventure and an opportunity for her to realise at least some of her hopes and dreams.

Kirsty is currently playing professional Badminton in India, having signed up to play with the Bengaluru Blasters in the VodafonePBL, where she will earn around £38,000 for the 24 days of competition. She was named Super Player of the tie earlier this week and with that came an added financial bonus.

This tournament will offer Kirsty an opportunity to get some well-deserved money in the bank after the disappointment of the cuts to her UK funding early 2017. She will travel round five different cities in India over the next few weeks, playing in front of huge crowds.

What an adventure for a young athlete and as far as I can see from her social media account, it is one that she is thoroughly enjoying.

Someone else who may be on the brink of fulfilling her dreams is Elise Christie, who is currently working at full blast, preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month.

This is South Korea’s second time hosting the games, as they played host to the summer games in Seoul in 1988. Elise, originally from Livingston, is a short-track speed-skater and the owner of a very impressive track record, 10 times European gold medallist, including two overall European titles in 2015 and 2016 as well as world titles at 1000m, 1500m and the overall gold, the first British and first European woman to do so. However, Elise has her worries to deal with.

This time, the adventure, I am sure, is tinged with a lot of apprehension, as she is about to put herself in the spotlight once again, after last Winter Games, which were held in Sochi in 2014, ended in disaster for her with three disqualifications.

This was followed up by a horrendous social media campaign against her which included hundreds of death threats from Koreans, as they believed she had been the main reason that one of their speed skating stars did not achieve a gold medal. Good luck to her and all the other athletes who will be representing Great Britain on this global platform. I look forward to this as the Winter Olympics, for me, is always great television viewing.

I believe we all have an adventure in us, whether it’s on a large, life-changing style, or something a bit more sedate that just takes us out of our comfort zone. And, of course, at the start of a new year, it is the perfect time to start developing your idea and look at putting your plan into action.

This year in Scotland it is the Year of The Young Person and there are many events organised to highlight the significant contribution that young people make to this country. This has been five years in the planning as the intention to have this celebration was first announced in 2013 by former First Minister, Alex Salmond.

We have broken down so many barriers in Scotland and as we continue to champion diversity and inclusion, this seems to be a logical next step. Celebrating our young people and their achievements, realising their potential and supporting them to take Scotland on its next journey, is yet another adventure. I am so looking forward to seeing this first-hand at Scottish Sports Futures Annual Awards Dinner on Friday, January 26. This dinner focuses on young people and as well as being the recipients of awards, they also are pivotal in the planning and delivery of the night.

On the night they will present 10 awards, each of them dedicated to celebrating the contributions of young people and those who have supported them throughout the year. It’s a big night for them and tickets are still available. Hope to see you there!