Our coach team at SwimGym is one international bunch! As former swimmers, coaches and even Olympians we have travelled to quite some countries for swimming, and have therefore swam in some amazing pools around the world. But the question remains - which pool is our favourite? And more importantly - why? Read along to find out what our favourite pools are.
Johan Kenkhuis (founder of SwimGym)
Challenge Stadium Aquatic Centre - Perth (AUS)
I swam my first World Championships as a 17 year old rookie in Perth, Australia, in the Challenge Stadium. I have never seen such a huge crowd and it made a big impact on me when swimming the final of the 400 freestyle relay. It was also the first championships of the then 15 year swimming legend Ian Thorpe, who boldly took the gold in the 400 freestyle, setting a new world record. Mind-blowing! The Aussies are so sports (and swimming) minded, the roof would have blown off if the stadium had one.
Jelle de Boer
Piscines Bernat Picornell - Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona, Spain
I have been to this Olympic swimming pool often during my training camps as a water polo player and later as a coach. The pool has spectacular views over Barcelona from the top of Montjuïc mountain where the 1992 Olympic Games were held.
Bakea Pool - Seignosse, France
This 2 lanes 25 meter pool is one of my favourites. It’s located up the dunes, overlooking the "étang Blanc", or the white pond, in the village of Seignosse, France. It’s a heated pool, and we would train here the whole year. I've seen so many sunrises from the water!
Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex – Sarasota (Florida), United States
When I swam at the University of Louisville we went on training trip to Sarasota (FL) in the winter. These are some of the most special memories I have from my swimming career. Looking back, I did some of the hardest practices I've ever done there. We would train hard, and became so close as a team during these training trips. You got to know yourself better, have lots of fun, swim in the sun and get stronger and faster. Win-Win-Win-Win!
Freibad – Vianden, Luxembourg
My favourite swimming pool is the Freibad in Vianden. Between 2010 and 2017 I spent many weekends there, training for my Ironman distances. Besides the rolling hills and trail runs, the medieval city has a very pretty open air swimming pool. The pool is Olympic sized and overlooking the Vianden Castle, and there is no better way to grind out a "Red Mist" set of 10 times 400 meter.
Lions Dive & Beach Resort – Curacao
I did a training trip to Curacao in February of 2016, where me and my fellow team mates swam in this beautiful three-lane 50 meter pool on the Lions Dive & Beach Resort. I have so many great memories there, where we trained hard (more than 100 kilometer in two weeks) and enjoyed the great weather and beach.
Roy van der Woude
Olympic Aquatic Centre Wezenberg - Antwerpen, Belgium
The first time I was at the Olympic pool in Antwerpen, I was only 10 years old, swimming my first ever long course meet. Sinds then, I’ve been there another 6 times, as a swimmer and later as a coach as well. The place is huge, with two 50 meter pools, an instruction pool and place for 800 people in the stands. Imagine being there as a young, nervous 10 year old kid.
Every year it is a weekend to look forward to. Competing in an international meet, racing against your friends and teammates, watching a lot of awesome races from the highest seat possible and just the overall experience of being in a professional Olympic pool makes it my favourite pool to swim.
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre - Sydney, Australia
My favorite pool is the Olympic pool in Sydney 2000. It was the first Olympic Games of my swimming career. The pool was beautiful, but that was not the only thing. I was very impressed by the size of the pool, especially the huge stands that were built in extra for the Olympics, which hosted aproximately 10.000 fans from all over the world.
De Krommerijn - Utrecht, The Netherlands
After years of swimming for the local swimming club in my hometown, I left for Utrecht when I was 19 to study. Even before I got there, I knew where I was going to swim - the student swimming club Het Zinkstuk. At this club I made many new friends and met people who play and have played an important role in my swimming career and development as a coach. Swimming pool De Krommerijn played a central role within this club. We had our training sessions, club events, and drinks after the training sessions at this pool. In the summer months the roof goes off and we can enjoy a workout in the open air and chill in the adjacent lawn.