Dutch Swimming Federation Revamps National Talent Development Process

The Royal Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB) has announced a few alterations to its talent development process, with the 2020-21 season targeted as a “transition year” to adapt to the changes.

The biggest takeaway is the KNZB moving to specifically target junior and youth swimmers at their Training Centers for Swimming, while the High Performance Centers will be focused on the top-level athletes who are in their “final stage of talent development.”

The national governing body also plans on connecting with club teams through the Training Centers, thus allowing up-and-coming swimmers a smooth transition into training at a center from their respective clubs. They also plan on putting an age restriction on the Training Centers, so once a swimmer reaches a certain age (18 for female, 19 for male), they either transition to the HPC or to a club.

The overarching plan is to give all young swimmers in the country more training opportunities, and ultimately a more streamlined process of development.

Leading into the 2021 Olympic Games, the HPCs in both Amsterdam and Eindhoven will remain active.

Coaches Mark Faber (Amsterdam) and Marcel Wouda (Eindhoven) will turn their sole focus on those athletes preparing for the Olympics in the short-term. Kees Robbertsen will continue to work with academy swimmers in Amsterdam, while Thijs Hagelstein and Patrick Pearson will run a mixed group with both developing and Tokyo bound swimmers in Eindhoven.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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