A Trowbridge primary school teacher has come fourth in the 2021 World Rowing Indoor Championships - and she’s only been doing the sport since January last year.

Eli Wood, 33, who teaches Years 3 and 4 at Walwayne Court Primary School, took part in the world rowing indoor championships in February.

The championships are usually held in Europe; however due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, they were held virtually.

Miss Wood said: “I decided to set myself a challenge of competing at the British rowing indoor championships in 2020, I was never expecting to compete at the World’s.”

Eli was able to train at home in Warminster, as having three young children aged two, 10 and 12, and lockdown made getting to the gym difficult.

She usually trains three times a week at the Armoury Gym in Crockerton run by Nick Bunyard, who put together a weekly training programme for her.

In June 2020, after only six months of training, Eli competed in her first virtual indoor rowing competition held by British rowing and came first in her age category and second in the final.

When December came around Miss Wood was ready to compete in the British rowing indoor championships.

She came fourth with a personal best of 07:20.2, competing against silver medallist, Jessica Eddie and world rowing indoor champion Anna Muehle. However, the score did not secure her a place at the world rowing indoor championships.

Days later World Rowing contacted Miss Wood and asked her to use her score for the open qualification, which meant her score would be verified and put forward, with the top five times qualifying for the championships.

On February 11, Miss Wood was notified by World Rowing that her score had indeed secured her a place at the championships final on February 24.

Miss Wood said: “I was competing against Anne Muehle, who was the world rowing champion in 2009.

“The race went well and I secured a new personal best with a time of 07:18.2 and placed fourth.”

Sharon Turley, acting head at Walwayne Court Primary School, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted for Eli and her fantastic achievement, and for us to have a world class competitor teaching at the school.”

Miss Wood has already started training for next year’s British rowing indoor championship.

She is talking to the school’s PE department about introducing indoor rowing to help Year 6 pupils keep fit.