After a long career as an open water swimmer and event organizer in the Netherlands, the renowned Marty Veen has been recognized by his peers and the marathon swimming community.
He not only founded the Scheerwolde Classic Swim, but also served as a member of the the Dutch Technical Open Water Committee for over 20 years.
As the innovative chairman of the Dutch Committee, Veen was always been known to put swimmers on a pedestal and treated everyone – coaches, judges, referees, safety personnel, organizations, federations – fairly and positively. Among the many changes he initiated or coordinated, he accomplished the following:
1. The Dutch National Championships added a 10 km marathon swim to its calendar.
2. He promoted 5 km, 10 km and 25 km races even when Dutch open water swimming traditionally focused on 2 km and 3 km swims.
3. He started the Dutch National Championship Long Distance and Marathon Swimming in 1989 with 5 km freestyle and breaststroke races. Later, the 10 km was added as well as distances for juniors and masters. The 15 km and 25 km national championship marathon swims were added in 1992 with the last several event taking place at the IJsselmeerzwemmarathon.
4. He implemented an observer system where referees observed swims, but they did not officiate. They watched and judged the safety procedures and the officials in action. Competitions that were judged to require improvement were advised to either make changes or withdraw from the national competition.
5. He organized an annual meeting to determine the optimal meet calendar with everyone’s best long-term interests at heart.
6. The annual race organizers’ meeting developed into an Open Water Congress for swimmers, coaches, organizers and officials/judges.
7. Since 1992, he experimented with the concept of a time trial and eventually incorporated the Open Water Time Trials into the national championships.
8. He established the Open Water Yearbook in 1988. It started as a brochure that had all the information on a swimmer before they entered a competition. It is published every year and has developed to become the primary open water information source in the Netherlands.
9. Participation in the European and World Championship events was a priority under Veen. He work was showcased when the LEN Cup competition and the European Youth Championships were held in Hoorn in 2010.
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