Triathlete Nicole van der Kaay is back training in the water, thanks to a dedicated father, a bit of home ingenuity, and a never say die attitude.

The Taupo athlete has been land based for the past few weeks, with lockdown regulations preventing her from going on her much loved morning swims.

She mentioned the problem to father John, who she describes as a ‘very practical man’.

“He was like give me a day and I’ll see what I can do,” van der Kaay said.

24-hours later the triathlete couldn’t believe what she was seeing in the back of an old deer shed on the family farm.

“Dad and my brother used timber to build a base and structure for a homemade pool and then they put a tarpaulin in there to hold the water. It took all day to fill it up by now I’ve got my own private training pool.”

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In order to train in the pool the Commonwealth Games medal winner puts a belt around her waist. A bungee cord is then attached to the belt, with the other end of the cord attached to the wall.

The contraption means van der Kaay doesn’t move, no matter how hard she swims.

“I’m swimming statically which is actually quite hard because you’re getting no momentum so you’re pulling static water with every stroke!”

Her only complaint is the freezing temperature of the water, but her handyman father even had an answer for that.

“They built a system to heat up the water! The water gets drained out by this drainage system he’s got and filtered onto the top of the iron roof which is heated by the sun on a sunny day and then filtered back into the pool.

“I’m just so lucky to have such a great Dad that can come up with amazing stuff like that.”

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The triathlete counting her blessings as she works out her new routine in lockdown.

“I definitely miss my morning swims the most out of everything, this comes close, it’s not quite the same but it’s definitely something I can work with and have a bit of fun with too.”

And while she’s busy training, Dad’s busy keeping the deer away so they don’t mistake the training pool for their new watering trough.

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