Interview: Duncan Goodhew, Olympic Gold medallist

Duncan has a new project in his home county of Somerset (c)

Duncan has a new project in his home county of Somerset (c) - Credit: sub

Annie May Byrne-Noonan catches up with possibly Britain’s finest ever swimmer about his latest project in Somerset

Olympic Gold medallist and Somerset resident Duncan Goodhew is not content with having conquered the world of professional swimming. From lobbying for quality games programmes in British primary schools to raising millions for charity as President of Swimathon, the world’s largest sponsored swim, he has used what he knows best, his passion for sports, to help people around the country get more active.

His latest project brings Britain’s premier swimmer closer to home. “I’ve lived in Somerset for 14 years of my life and there are so many things I love about it, its rural beauty, its people and, of course, its cheese!”

Mature Cheddar and friendly natives aside, Duncan’s latest involvement is with a local company that looks set to put Somerset on the tourist map.

Tobooka is a website that connects local businesses and experiences to people visiting Somerset”, he says. A venture that has so inspired the veteran athlete that he has become its non-executive director: “Not only does it provide holiday let owners with an easy way of offering their guests a range of things to do by recommending great activities on offer in the area, Tobooka is also generating sales for small local businesses and service providers.”

Offering tourists places to eat, drink and visit that are recommended by locals themselves, holidaymakers are given an authentic experience of Somerset life.

“Tobooka improves how small businesses are marketed online to tourists. So not only are tourists getting the best of what Somerset has to offer, holiday let owners are also supporting local suppliers and businesses, so everyone benefits.”

A will to see people get ‘active’ has always linked the athlete’s professional and personal projects.

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“My sporting experience taught me how crucial it is for us all to engage in life as much as possible. Sport changed my life, swimming was the lifeline that saved me. It’s a lesson that I have followed into business and I’m really excited about what Tobooka can achieve in the future.”

Visit the Tobooka website here.