July 28, 2019

Swimmer Marcel Schouten wins big lake crossing

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 1:12 pm

On 27 July Dutch swimmer Marcel Schouten took first place at the 65th ‘Traversé internationale du lac Saint-Jean’ (‘International crossing of Lake St. Jean’), a big lake and area of the Province of Quebec in Canada. It’s where a lot of wild blueberries come from and a lot of classic Quebec recipes as well.

The Christopher Deegan of Australia took second place, and third place was nabbed by Matias Diaz Hernandez of Argentina. On his Twitter feed, Schouten was congratulated for ‘rocking at the 5th stage of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim Series in Lac St. Jean’ by FINA, the Fédération internationale de natation (‘International Swimming Federation’). Last year’s winner, Edoardo Stochino of Italy, came in fourth.

My family saw this news go by and thought it would be good for us, so here it is.

(Link: ici.radio-canada.ca, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved)

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April 22, 2014

Swimming for kids now also about swimming skills, not just safety

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 4:53 pm

Today the national swimming organisation (KNZB) has introduced its own swimming certificate, as they said they would last year. They believe in teaching children the front crawl (aka free style) and the back stroke, as opposed to the breast stroke, which is what children usually learn when they go for their national swimming pool organisation (NPZ) certificate.

The biggest difference between the two organisations is that the latter is all about swimming as a safety measure and the former is all about swimming as a sport. The KNZB claims children were not being taught properly and has developed a system that also helps children obtain their certificates faster, something I’m sure will please many a parent. However, having to choose which certificate is better for your kid will most probably come down to the price tag. A quick tour of the Internet tells me a Dutch swimming certificate costs somewhere between 200 and 1000 euro depending on many factors, like how many weeks a course takes.

If I had to shop for a course and it was just about swimming or safety, I would opt for one that taught swimming as a sport. In Canada, I learnt both how to swim and how to save someone from drowning, and if I remember correctly, it was part of the same course. The idea that Dutch children are taught the breast stroke to swim to safety, but are possibly taught nothing about helping others, even how to properly throw a lifebuoy, makes me uneasy. And I did put those skills to use once when I was about 8 and a smaller child’s floaters clicked off while they were in the deep end of a very slow day at the pool and mommy had popped out for some cigarettes.

(Link: trouw.nl, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved)

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April 9, 2014

Eindhoven to premiere innovative swimming device

Filed under: Dutch first,Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:29 pm


The 10th annual Swim Cup Eindhoven, held from 10 to 13 April, will feature the world premiere competition use of the Omega Backstroke Start Device (video in English).

Backstroke swimmers will no longer have to worry about their feet or toes slipping at the start of a race, which has been an issues for ages.

Starting platforms for swimmers are constantly being adapted so that swimmers don’t slip, so I can imagine it’s about time the backstroke crowd got their ‘starting device’ as well.

(Link: www.ed.nl, Photo of Olympic pool by diamond geezer, some rights reserved)

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September 4, 2013

Swimming for kids: sport or safety measure? Or both?

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 10:47 am

Swimming organisations in the Netherlands are arguing about which stroke should be taught first to children. The organisation responsible for teaching children, the national swimming pool organisation, is a fan of the breast stroke because it can be sustained for longer and is easier to learn. The national swimming organisation is all for the front crawl and the back stroke and plans to introduce their own swimming certificates for children next year. The national swimming pool organisation is not happy about having some competition.

Why are they at odds? The swimming pool peeps believe in teaching children in the event that they fall into a canal, while the national swimming peeps see swimming as a sport. The chances of a child falling into a body of water and having to swim ashore for a long time are not very likely and so the breast stroke make sense. However, if a child wants to learn how to swim as a real skill, then the front crawl is usually a good primer.

As a well-versed swimmer (my butterfly stroke sucks), I can tell you that besides the strokes, staying afloat by treading water or floating on your back is very important for safety. As a child I also learnt how to give mouth to mouth and rescue someone while in the water, skills that people regularly use when you’re a Canadian on a lake in a canoe in the forest in a pre-mobile phone era, not a small child falling into a canal.

Why can’t these organisations coordinate their efforts? Then kids will learn how to excel at swimming and what to do if they or a friend falls into a canal. Only being able to save yourself doesn’t sound very noble.

(Link: www.dutchnews.nl, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved)

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June 9, 2009

Car thieves try to escape by swimming

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:58 am

Two suspected car thieves were caught yesterday when they tried to escape their pursuers by swimming from the province of Gelderland to the province of Flevoland across the 500-meter-wide Nuldernauw.

At 9:15 am police noticed a stolen car on the A28 motorway, but drivers got wind of smokey bear and put the pedal to the metal. Near the town of Horst, the stolen car hit the shoulder at high speed and careened into some trees 30 metres off the road. When the police got there, they found that the driver and his partner in crime had fled the scene towards the nearby water.

A little later, the police discovered the men in the water, swimming towards Flevoland. When two officers dived in to continue pursuit, the suspects turned around and themselves in. The men were taken to a hospital for hypothermia. The police will question them as soon as possible.

(Via Politie Noord en Oost Gelderland, via Telegraaf, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved. The Nuldernauw is to the left.)

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August 25, 2008

Warm welcome for Olympic athletes in 1928 stadium

Filed under: Shows,Sports by Branko Collin @ 7:00 pm

The Olympic athletes arrived home today, and they were given a warm welcome at the 1928 Olympic stadium in Amsterdam. I live right around the corner, and decided to take my crummy old digital camera there. As luck would have it, the organizers had decided that the athletes would enter through the front gate, where there is ample opportunity for non-accredited press (i.e. l’il ole me) to climb onto flowerbeds and the pedestals of pompous statues.

Below you see Anky van Grunsven (gold, dressage) being interviewed by famous sports presenter Tom Egberts. It was very hard to get a photo of her not grinning like a maniac, but here she had to be serious for a moment. She was one of the first there, and being a gold medal winner had to wait until the end to enter the stadium, and she was all smiles all the time.

More below the fold…


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August 12, 2008

Cannonball champ 2008 with eight metre splash

Filed under: Shows,Sports by Branko Collin @ 8:27 am

The national cannonball (“bommetje”) champion of this year is Freddy van der Pol who also won last year, according to De Pers (Dutch, video here). His splash at Zwembad Noord in Stadskanaal reached a height of 8.60 metres, not nearly enough to break the record of 12.4 metres. The status of the title is itself heavily contested as there is a competing championship that broke away from Zwembad Noord’s in 2001, organised by Sportfondsen. Their championship will be held September 5, and still has some wild cards to give away.

Matching summer hit on the grey web: Als het golft by De Dijk.

Photo by Sandra Forbes, some rights reserved.

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