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.”
Scotland’s promising triathlon talent will swap their Christmas shopping for a warm weather training camp on the Canary Islands.
(retrieved from http://www.triathlonscotland.org/newsArticle.cfm?id=527; 24 Nov 2010)
Eleven members of triathlonscotland’s Performance programme, including 2010 Strathclyde Park ETU European Cup winner Ritchie Nicholls, pictured right, will head to Fuertaventura on 17 December, returning on Christmas Eve.
The week-long camp for members of the Development and Podium Level squads will focus on some intensive technical training as the athletes prepare for the 2011 season.
National Performance Development Coach Chris Volley and Assistant National Coach Blair Cartmell are hopeful elite Danish triathlete Rasmus Henning will meet up with the squads and pass on the knowledge which has seen him win the 2009 European Long Distance Championships ad compete at the 2004 Olympic Games.
At the same time, the Foundation squad will meet on 19 December, to build upon the work undertaken at two camps this month.
The first, held at the end of October at the Stirling Performance Centre, based at the University of Stirling, was led by Linda McLean. Working alongside top age group competitor Martin Gore, an Edinburgh RC club member, Stewart Bailey and Psychology Masters student Brigitta Walner, the athletes identified key areas for development.
“It is all about ensuring athletes are focusing on their key limiting points,” explained Chris Volley. “By identifying them, the coaches can then help and support the athletes to change and improve.
“Each triathlete left with three key aims to develop ahead of the next camp, which can be everything from basic conditioning movements to changing their swim or run action. We don’t expect them to solve everything in one go, but start to tackle them with our support.
“The camps aim to foster an atmosphere of learning and development and by extending the areas of support through people like Linda, Martin and Brigitta, the athletes will gather knowledge in different areas while the coaches can also take their skills back to deliver to the Scottish club triathletes.”
The next camp, for Foundation and non-centralised athletes, takes place on 26-27 November in Stirling, led by Bailey.
Image: Ritchie Nicholls crosses the line at Strathclyde Park/Photo courtesy of Imac Images