Dutch Swimming Federation Issues Apology as Country Reopens Elite Training

The Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB) has issued an apology for using a federation-owned swimming pool in Zeist during a national lockdown to fight the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite the fact that this was done to a limited extent and according to strict safety rules, in hindsight we think it was an incorrect decision,” the statement reads (translated from Dutch). “The KNZB wants to play its role as a representative of the entire aquatic sports community in a responsible manner and this action is not appropriate. We apologize for this.”

KNZB did not disclose exactly how the pool was used, for how many athletes, or for how long.

The apology comes after news reports discussed the usage of the pool in Zeist, a municipality of about 64,000 about 40 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam.

The Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation (NOC * NSF) had previously said that they were unhappy with the action of the swimming federation, and the KNZB said that they closed the pool as soon as they

The KNZB made the apology on the same day as the Netherlands reopened training centers for its top athletes.

The country had been in total lockdown, with all sporting facilities closed, but earlier this month announced that it would approve “elite athletes” to begin training at designated training locations so long as they keep a distance of 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) and “take all hygiene measures as determined by the RIVM.”

Wednesday also marked the resumption of sporting activities for children and teenagers to some extent, with proper social distancing remaining in place for athletes aged 13-18. Children 12 & under are allowed to play under supervision without a distancing guideline.

The Netherlands won 1 medal across all disciplines at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships when Ranomi Kromowidjojo took silver in the 50 fly. The country swept the open water Olympic gold medals in 2016 (Ferry Weertman won the men’s 10k, Sharon van Rouwendaal the women’s). One of the country’s biggest medal threats at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which will begin in July 2021, is Arno Kamminga. After placing 13th in the 100 breast and 10th in the 200 breast at Worlds, he has broken a Dutch Record in nearly every event that he’s raced since.

The NOC *NSF emerges from the shutdown in good financial shape after announcing in April an increased distribution to Dutch Sport in 2019 from the National Lottery.  Specifically, Dutch Sport received €46.4 million ($50.8 million) in 2019, which is about 27% of the total money distributed and is a slight increase from 2018.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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