Marty Veen

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International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame]]

International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame]]

After a long career as an open water swimmer (including a podium finish at the International Jarak-Šabac Marathon Swim, Marty Veen of the Netherlands founded the Scheerwolde Classic Swim. He was a long-time member of the Dutch (KNZB) Technical Open Water Committee (TOWC) for over 20 years, he retired and was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2014 as an Honour Administrator.

Marty was an innovative chairman of the TOWC. He has always been known to put the interests of swimmers first and foremost and has similarly acted positively and proactively for the open water swimming coaches, judges, referees, safety, organizations, the federation. He expertly maintained a fine balance among the key players in the Dutch open water swimming world and initiated and/or coordinated the following changes:

1. He promoted 5km, 10km and 25km races, even when Dutch open water swimming traditionally was focused on 2km and 3km swims.

2. He started the Dutch National Championship Long Distance and Marathon Swimming in 1989 with 5km freestyle and breaststroke races. Later, the 10km was added as well as distances for juniors and Masters. The 15+km Dutch National Championship Marathon swimming was added in 1992. The last several years this event coincides with the IJsselmeerzwemmarathon.

3. He implemented an observer system where referees observed swimming events, but they did not officiate. They watched and judged the safety procedures, organization and the officials at work. Events that were judged to require improvement were advised to either make changes or withdraw from the national competition.

4. He organized an annual meeting to determine the optimal meet calendar with everyone's best long-term interests at heart. This annual race organizers' meeting developed into an Open Water Conference for swimmers, coaches, organizers and officials/judges.

5. Starting in 1992, he experimented with the concept of a time trial and eventually the KNZB incorporated the Open Water Time Trials into the national championships.

6. Participation in the European and World Championship events was a priority under Veen.

7. He initiated the Open Water Yearbook in 1988. It started as a brochure that had all the information for the swimmers before they entered the competition. It is (2016) still published every year and with Richard Broer as editor has developed to become the primary open water information source in the Netherlands. The www.noww.nl website first developed from the Open Water Yearbook.

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