In June 2022 Swimming and Water Polo Association ‘de Futen’ will be 83 years old. In those 83 years a lot has happened and changed within the association, but swimming and water polo have always remained an inseparable part of the activities. Before the establishment of A.Z. & P.C. de Futen we have to go back to the year 1939. Two quotes best illustrate how the association came about. The first is from Mr. Boelhouwer (member of merit) and the second is from the minutes of the inaugural meeting.
“It was the custom in the old Poelbad to spend quite a bit of time on the side. You then spent that time with a group of kindred spirits, which almost always had the same composition. All kinds of things were discussed. Mr. Koolhaas suggested organizing a competition. Most of us were completely ignorant of this noble sport. Nevertheless, the proposal was greeted with enthusiasm. The swimming club of the Oosterbad in Aalsmeer-East was contacted. And so a match was set for June 20, 1939. You can feel that we were badly beaten, but we had survived and were also so captivated by the water polo that we promptly afterwards set up a lawn on the lawn in front of the swimming pool polo club.”
“After somewhat primitive board elections, the name “Futen” was given to the Association after mutual consultation. The contribution was set at fl 2.50 per season. would purchase. And with that the association was ‘born’.”
Despite the occupation years, the association grew steadily and competitive swimming was included in the program. The hard training of the water polo players paid off, because already in 1941 the first men’s team became champion of circle Amsterdam and two years later champion of the northern competition B-department K.N.Z.B. The association grew so fast that a second and third men’s team and a seven youth team could be formed and the swimming team could also greet the necessary newcomers.
Women could not stay behind in these developments. In the early fifties, there appeared to be more and more enthusiasm for women’s water polo, resulting in a more fun and better competition. Finding training space, however, entailed the necessary problems.
The swimming pool in the Poel (Poelbad) was demolished in the famine years 1944-45 and Amstelveen was left without a swimming pool. The solution was found when part of the Bosbaan could be rented from the municipality of Amsterdam. In winter, the swimming pool on the Heiligeweg was used. It was not until 1951 that the municipality decided to build a new outdoor swimming pool. The ‘natural pool’ was placed on the edge of the Poel, where the Poeloever was situated. In 1967 the indoor swimming pool Het Keerpunt was taken into use.
The Futen are very successful in competitive swimming in the early sixties. There is even international swimming. Big names such as Gretta and Ada Kok, Jopie Troost and Erna Loskamp swam for the Futen in those years. Later in the sixties, a discipline was started with the Grebes that unfortunately no longer exists: diving. The national coach from that time, Harry Meelhuisen, was roped in to start diving with the Futen. And with success, within a few years there was a group of jumpers and jumpers who participated at a high level.
The aim was to become the best diving association in the Netherlands.
In the mid-1970s, the level was so high that international training camps and competitions were organized. Edwin and Daphne Jongejans are the most famous jumpers who competed for the Futen at that time.
Of course, the elementary and diploma swimming should not be forgotten. The Grebes have always attached great importance to teaching children to swim well at a young age (certificates A and B).
For the youth who wanted to learn more than elementary swimming, there was the possibility to move on to diploma swimming. There they learned the basics of competitive swimming, water polo and rescue swimming, after which they could receive a diploma after passing an exam.
90s to present
Today, De Futen is the largest swimming club in Amstelveen. In addition to training work, fun is also of paramount importance to the Futen and this forms the starting point for various activities. There are three men’s teams in water polo. Youth is also well represented with teams from 9 to 16 years old.
After a decline in the early 1990s, competitive swimming is now doing very well. There is a lot of youth represented in this swimming branch and the slogan ‘who has youth, has the future’ certainly applies here. There is also a group of master swimmers who earn medals in national competitions. At the annual celebration of Amstelveen sports champions, there are always a number of Futen Masters swimmers on the podium.
Elementary and diploma swimming within the Futen is also still important. There is an enthusiastic and qualified team of experienced swimming instructors and management. Every year, many children swim at the Futen, who can then proudly start competitive swimming or water polo with their swimming certificate in their pocket.