When you move to The Netherlands, the last thing you may think of as a person new to this country would be that almost everyone native to this country has a swimming certificate. That is, most people who live here have completed a swimming program and have it documented. Since The Netherlands is under sea level and there are so many canals running through the country, it has become imperative that everyone knows how to swim here in case he or she would fall into a canal.
Jeremy has a camping trip with his class coming up before the school year is up, and his teacher brought up the topic of swimming by asking the class who had an A diploma in swimming. Of course, we had no idea what that meant, but after a few questions to some great friends I have met since moving here, I quickly found out that the A diploma is the first diploma in a series of three which certifies that a person can swim out of a canal if his or her clothes were on.
I went ahead and signed both the kids up for the A diploma class. Even though both the kids can swim, they have never actually fallen into a body of water with their clothes on and been able to get out. I hope that opportunity never presents itself in real life, but since we are living in a country which puts such emphasis on swimming, I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea.
Both Jeremy an Elizabeth were signed up for the classes at an indoor pool near to our home. The classes are divided into four groups based on ability level. They both started off in the second group where they had to perfect he breast stroke. Let me tell you that the Dutch swimming instructors are serious about the exact way the breast stroke must be done! From there, Jeremy quickly progressed through the next two groups until he was invited to swim for his A diploma. Elizabeth is in the third to last group working on perfecting the back stroke.:)
To obtain the A diploma, the children have to demonstrate that they can float...
Well, I wasn't there today when he swam for his diploma since I have been at home recovering from a stomach bug the kids brought home from school.....but, guess who got his diploma today??!!!
So, now, as my friend said, "Now, he can swim like a Dutchman!"