IT TAKES more than just a sore head to keep Wimborne triathlete Elisabeth Hood out of the saddle and away from her training.

After being knocked unconscious in a junior European qualification event in May, Hood has returned to training ahead of a busy summer, having recently completed her A-levels at Talbot Heath School.

But Hood, who has been competing in the sport since she was 14, remains unfazed by the incident and is instead focusing on making amends at September’s ITU World Triathlon grand final in Rotterdam.

“I crash all the time on my bike,” the 19-year-old said. “I’m not put off by doing triathlon – I’ve crashed many times before – it’s just part of the sport.

“I went round a corner too fast and my chain came off and I just came off with it.

“I had a poor swim, so when I got out of the water, I was eager to go out hard on the bike, something I’ll know not to do next time!”

Hood, who trains at Poole Athletics Club and Swim Bournemouth, is now looking to transition towards the senior set-up in the sport, having completed her first Olympic distance this year.

The young star will take a massive step towards doing so if she gains a place at Leeds University later this summer, where she wants to study ancient history and politics.

And while she might be training in the same place which produced London and Rio Olympic medallists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the teenager is determined to take everything one step at a time when it comes to improving in her sport.

“The Olympics is definitely something I want to aim for, but I think it’s better to take small steps, one at a time,” said Hood.

“I wouldn’t want to set Tokyo 2020 as a goal because right now, I don’t feel it’s that achievable. In triathlon years, I’m still very young, and as I get older my body will be able to take more – in terms of training for longer periods.

“There are a lot of other talented triathletes out there and I want to first build towards graduating to the senior circuit, and competing at under-23 level.”

In her quest to successfully transition to the senior set-up, Hood will be aided by being part of the SSE Next Generation programme for a second year running, one of 50 athletes given financial support and recognition, with world and Olympic champion Katie Archibald just one of the alumni.

Hood will be supported in everything from travel costs to lifestyle management through different workshops run throughout the year.

And the triathlete couldn’t hide her delight at once again getting a place on the programme with SSE, who this year are working across 24 different sports.

“I receive £1,000 from SSE, which is a fantastic help because triathlon can be quiet expensive,” Hood said.

“The media training that SSE have given us has also been really good. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to take phone calls from random people like I sometimes do when walking down the street and how to talk to them and get my point of view across.

“Last year I was selected to go to the SSE Sports Aid Ball, which was so inspirational because I met Keri-Anne Payne and Mo Farah. It’s just been great.”

Since 2013, SSE is proud to make a difference to young people, their families and their communities, by investing in the future of sporting talent through the SSE Next Generation scheme. Keep up to date @YourSSE