Learning to swim is part of Dutch culture. This is hardly surprising considering the amount of water in this damp little coastal country of ours. About 19% of the Netherlands consists of water, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands (2012). It is therefore very important to be a safe and self-reliant swimmer, in case you unexpectedly end up in the water, for example, but also if you want to engage in any form of water recreation. Plus, swimming is a great and healthy way to exercise. Swimming is an activity that uses all of the body's muscles and, as an extra bonus, a sport that is not at all prone to injury. In short, more than enough reason to learn how to swim. We asked two mothers to tell us more about the swimming proficiency of their childeren. Click here to read the story of mother Semra and the story of mother Tannie.
Many children in the Netherlands learn to swim from ages four or five, which means they get used to the water and are water safe at an early age. For many parents it is very reassuring that their child has his or her swimming ABC in the bag and is a safe swimmer. This is, however, not to say that it is wrong to start swimming lessons a bit later. At a later age a child's motor skills are often much better, which makes it much easier for them to master a new swimming stroke. This works well for some, allowing them to become proficient much quicker. If you are a parent/guardian with minimum income living in Eindhoven, your child can take swimming lessons for free. Read more about it on the bottom of this page (A Guaranteed and Youth Sports Fund).
Do you feel like you are the only one not being able to swim? Fret not. Learning to swim as a teenager or adult is not a problem. And you don't have to worry about joining pre-schoolers either, as there are separate swimming lessons for teenagers and adults where you can obtain the full swimming ABC or improve your technique. In addition to swimming lessons for teenagers and adults we also have swimming lessons exclusively for women, as well as lessons for children with a disability.
While not everyone can afford swimming lessons, there are always options. If you are a parent/guardian with minimum income living in Eindhoven, your child can take swimming lessons for free up to and including the A diploma via the A Guaranteed scheme. You don't have to do anything for this at the moment! All eligible children aged 6 to 12 will receive a letter of invitation in January. And if you are not eligible for A Guaranteed, the Youth Sports Fund might be able to help you out. This fund is set up for people on social security, families in debt restructuring or families with an income below the social minimum. The Youth Sports Fund contributes towards the costs of swimming lessons. Through this fund it is only possible to take swimming lessons at a number of local swimming clubs in Eindhoven.