ELAINA Gard, a teacher at The Dolphin School in Montpelier, Bristol, has been selected for Team GB at the World Triathlon Championships in Ibiza in May.
Elaina has been a competitive runner for many years and only switched to triathlon two years ago after an injury.
Her success in an Ironman competition last year – in which she swam 3.8km, cycled 112 miles, then ran a marathon – qualified her for the national team.
Now she is training for the long distance event in Ibiza, which is slightly shorter: 3km swim, 116km cycle and 30km running.
She has also qualified for the middle distance event at the European Triathlon Championships in Belgium in August.
Elaina trains six days a week, often twice a day, fitting in swims before work at The Dolphin School, where she teaches Year 5, and runs and bike rides at the end of the day. She is a member of Kingswood Triathlon Club and Bristol & West Athletics Club and is trained by Trimoore coaching.
“It does take up a lot of hours, but it is all worth it,” said Elaina. “I have always had an aspiration to represent my country
“The children in my class think my GB kit is pretty cool. They ask a lot of questions and are very excited about the Worlds. I hope I will inspire some of them to become passionate about sport.”
David Watson, chief executive of Venturers Trust, of which TDS is part, said; “Elaina deserves every success. She is a real winner in our eyes – her total commitment to her class, her school and her sport are an inspiration. We encourage children to work hard and have courage and Elaina’s efforts show just what such an attitude can achieve.”