A SWINDON Town Ladies footballer has ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’ after being awarded a sports scholarship to attend Cloud County Community College in Kansas.

Centre midfielder Georgia Walters, 18, has been Town’s top scorer for three years in a row and secured her scholarship through FirstPoint USA, a Glasgow-based company which has an extensive network in the United States and acts as an intermediary between talented athletes and college coaches.

The former Ridgeway pupil will take up the scholarship in August where she will continue to train as a footballer alongside studying for her degree.

“I have dreamt of playing soccer in the USA from a young age and enjoy the American way of life,” said Walters.

“I have played soccer all my life in England and to play soccer in America would be the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Nicole Montoya from FirstPoint USA said: “We wish Georgia all the best in her new career.

“American colleges are keen to attract the very best sporting talent from across the world.”

Walters’ talent was evident from an early stage in her life, when she won a signed England shirt for having the hardest shot in the country for an under 10 girl.

She was also selected to attend an England development training camp at Lilleshall when she was just 13, and has been hugely impressive for Swindon ladies in recent seasons.

On average, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) offers 126,000 sports scholarships every year worth a total of $1billion.

Around 8,500 UK students head to the US every year to study as part of the country’s extensive scholarship programme.

A sports scholarship to a US university can cover a percentage, sometimes all, of the costs associated with earning a university degree.

In return, the student will represent the university in their respective sport and maintain a good level of academic performance.

Walters is not the only local sportsperson to win a sports scholarship in the US in recent years.

Wootton Bassett American footballer Craig McLeod won his place at Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska in 2009 having only played the sport for a year and a half.