Walking on water in Olympic encounter

Dave Tuppen, in Ash Road in Southwater, with Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee.
Dave Tuppen, in Ash Road in Southwater, with Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee.

Three staff at a Horsham business helped run a triathlon stall at Hyde Park during the Olympics and one even got to meet Alistair Brownlee.

Craig Trusson, joint-owner and managing director of Home Counties Pools and Hot Tubs, in Brighton Road’s Hilliers Garden Centre, service manager Dave Tuppen and show centre manager Mark Daniels, all took turns in looking after a pool they installed in London.

As part of the British Triathlon exhibit run by BT London Live, people were encouraged to try out swimming, cycling and running on treadmills, stationary bikes and and Endless Pool, where a propulsion unit creates a current in the water.

“It was amazing, we had such fun,” Craig said.

“Being involved was great because it was about fitness and well-being, which is what our company is about.

“It was great to say we were part of what was a fantastic global festival.

At times it was six or seven rows deep queuing with people from around the world taking part.

He ensured the schedule meant he was there on the day of the Triathlon itself, but it was Dave, from Ash Road in Southwater, who was the lucky one, meeting the Olympic gold medallist, the day after triumphing, two places in front of his brother Jonathan Brownlee.

Dave said: “It was really nice to get to meet him, he’s a nice lad.

“The security guards had told him not to come down to the enclosure, but he said that he was definitely going down there and it was great.

“There were a few green eyes there and a few mumbles as not everyone got their picture taken with him.”

Craig added: “I was a bit more than jealous. As the boss I massaged the rota so I could be there on the day of the Triathlon, but he turned up the day after.”

They provided swimming costumes and changing facilities for people turning up, letting them swim for as long as they could, before running on the treadmill and stationary bikes for three minutes each.

Scores were then recorded and put on a leader board.

Dave added: “There were quite a few people that were quite sporty, but there were so many people were there partaking in so much.

“There was so much there for everyone go it was like almost like Britain pulling together with something for everyone to have fun there.

“It was fantastic and to be there was such an honour.”

He even came back from his holiday just to get involved.

There was some initial confusion with friends and family, over whether the company had installed the Endless Pool in Hyde Park, or the main Olympic Pool at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford, with the news even circulating on Twitter.

Craig added: “It was a great privilege for us to be involved and go the the events. It made me even more proud to be British by being involved.”

Founded with his wife Jill, Craig has run Home Counties Pools and Hot Tubs for 29 years.

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