Hood has high hopes after Olympic taster. The only Scottish athlete at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is now targeting the triathlon starting line at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
(retrieved from http://dev.triathlonscotland.org/newsArticle.cfm?id=521, November 24, 2010)
At 18, Andy Hood, pictured right, has time on his side to swim, bike and run at another major Games and the Cupar teenager has been given a major boost with selection for triathlonscotland’s performance programme.
Hood, who finished 15th at the YOG in Singapore, is one of 19 athletes named on the national performance programme for triathletes.
“Singapore was great as I got to meet people from lots of other sports, not just triathlon and living in the athlete’s village was good too, mixing with athletes from all over the world.” said Hood.
“The experience has helped me to appreciate what a major games is like and now the next big goal is Glasgow in four years time. Being a home Games, just half an hour from my training base, makes it that bit more special.”
Hood is part of the development squad, one of three sections to the 2011 performance programme, sandwiched between foundation and podium. Included in the podium squad is veteran triathlete Kerry Lang, from Elderslie, who represented Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Another name to look out for is Irvine’s David McNamee, who finished ninth in the European U23 Triathlon Championships in Portugal and represented Great Britain in the World U23 Championships.
Both McNamee and Hood are students at the University of Stirling, its campus home to triathlonscotland’s national performance centre.
Hood, in the first year of an Applied Maths degree, added: “It’s definitely a big step forward for me this year, not just with my studies, but with much more focused training at the performance centre.
“The main benefit of the performance programme is the coaching support and also the access to the additional support from the sportscotland institute of sport.
“And there is a core group of us all living together, encouraging and helping one another. It may be an individual sport, but we work as a team as everyone has the same aims – to perform for Scotland.”
triathlonscotland National Performance Development Coach Chris Volley leads the performance programme and in 2011, an expanding group of coaches will support the athletes in their performance development.
This includes: National Assistant Coach Blair Cartmell, Linda McLean, Stewart Bailey, Stephen Moffatt, Susan Moffatt, Martin Gore and Brigitte Wallner.
Chris Volley said: “This year it was the most difficult yet to earn a place on the squads. We now have a good mix of athletes ranging from proven performers at senior level through to athletes new to the sport who have shown the potential to develop quickly with a positive attitude to the challenges they will face.”