Welcome to Willemstad, Curaçao!

The motto for our competition has always been “swimmers without borders” – and we are delighted to bring our event to the Caribbean this year. Bulado Swim Club is proud to invite you to Willemstad, Curaçao from the 14th-16th of October, 2016 for the 11th year of our unique swimming competition!

Considered one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean, the island of Curaçao is not only known for its beautiful beaches and gorgeous natural landscapes. Capital city Willemstad, on the east side of the island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history dating back to the 17th century. During your time off from the pool, you can explore the city’s heritage, do some shopping, hang out at a café or experience Curaçao’s dining scene. Alternatively, you can get in touch with nature on the west side of the island – known for its small fishing villages, secluded beaches and the 1800-hectare Christoffel National Park.

Hosting the EU Swim in Curaçao during October will allow you to take advantage of the lower costs that accompany the off-season. There are non-stop flights from the United States and from the Netherlands in Europe, with connecting flights available to any part of the world, so the island is easily accessible! If you want to combine your holiday with a trip to the United States, Miami is only a three-hour direct flight from Curaçao. Check out the Curaçao Tourism Board website here to plan the perfect holiday!

The recently renovated Asiento facility boasts an 8-lane 25 meter pool equipped with non-turbulent lanelines, a separate smaller pool for warmup purposes and ample spectator seating for family, friends and supporters. We’ve divided the meet into 4 sessions with timed finals only on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning. This will allow you to have a wide range of events to choose from so that you can have ample time for sightseeing in between sessions.

Teams who wish to make their trip to Curaçao into a training camp experience prior to or after the competition are welcome to contact the organizers for arrangements at [email protected].

We are very excited to be working with the Bulado Swim Club for the 2016 edition of this event. More details will be made available soon. Join us on the island this October and enjoy a weekend of fast swimming and fun in paradise!




Paris 2006
Liege 2007
Slupsk 2008
Aarschot 2009
Neuchatel 2010
Miskolc 2011
Tampere 2012
We have been to…

This year, we’re headed to…

  • Willemstad, Curaçao!

Instructional swimming videos, customized workouts, technique tips, swimming reviews, and more!

 

September 2013 Newsletter Mailing

Starting with the September edition, we will be using an e-newsletter format that will be more user-friendly and easier to read.

Check out our latest e-newsletter here or subscribe to the mailing list to get all of our updates sent directly to your inbox!

From Estonia to California: A Conversation with Olympian Martin Liivamägi

martin 11Breaststroker Martin Liivamägi is no ordinary swimmer. A two-time Olympian representing Estonia and two-time NCAA team champion at UC Berkeley, Martin is the quintessential representation of an international athlete. The 25-year old has represented two clubs – Kalevi Ujumiskool in Tallinn, host club of this year’s competition, and Cal Aquatics in California – and two countries, Estonia and the United States. We sat down with Martin recently to chat about his international experiences with swimming.

JG: When and how did you first get involved in swimming?

martin 7

Martin diving in for a race at the 2012 Olympic Games in London

ML: I started going to swim practice when I was 7 years old, but I was around the pool already before that as my father and mother were both swimmers themselves. My dad was a swim coach back then and it seemed like a natural move to start swimming.

JG: As a swimmer at the Olympic level, you have dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to the sport of swimming. What motivates you to continue swimming at the elite level and what helps you get through the daily workload?

ML: I have been swimming 18 years now and I have no regrets when looking back at those years. It has been the accomplishments in the pool and the people around me who have kept me in the sport of swimming. It is the small details that help you get better in and out of the pool and focusing on those details will help you handle rough workouts. Getting better day to day is what keeps me motivated!

JG: How have your family and friends supported you on this journey to success?

martin 4ML: My whole family has supported me throughout the years of swimming. I might even say they have been my biggest fans. And I definitely wouldn’t be where I am right now without the support of my friends. The key is to surround yourself with people that want you to succeed.

JG: You’re an Estonian athlete currently living in the United States – representing your country at international meets, and swimming for a university team in California at NCAA collegiate competitions. How have you balanced life in two different countries? Has it changed your overall attitude or perspective at all?

ML: I think representing Estonia internationally and swimming for Cal Berkeley for four years has been the best combination possible. It was tough leaving my home country, but I knew it was the right decision with both swimming and academics in mind. Even though I have spent most of my last 5 years in California, I still feel like I’m at home when I visit Estonia. The two countries are definitely very different and I feel I have learned a lot from both cultures. I try to take best of both cultures and combine them.

martin 5
JG: What has been your most rewarding experience so far and what are your goals for the future?

ML: The most rewarding experience I would have to say would be my all four years at Cal. There are obvious highlights throughout the years with NCAA Division 1 titles in 2011 and 2012, but it was the latter that I enjoyed more as it was my senior year on the team. It was the journey with the team throughout those years that I see as the highlight of my career. As for my future, I’m not sure how long I will be able to stay in the sport. In the short term, I’m planning on swimming at the European Short Course Championships in Denmark this December.

Martin and his Cal teammates celebrating a win

Martin and his Cal teammates celebrating a win

JG: What advice would you give to our younger swimming readers who are striving to reach the heights of achievement in the sport?

ML: My advice for younger swimmers is that it’s never too late to start with the sport of swimming. You just have to be consistent and patient with it. I see a lot of talented kids turn away from the sport when they are still young and have not fully reached their potential yet. As long as you can keep yourself motivated, you will do great things in the future!

JG: Do you have a favorite workout set and/or a drill that you’d be willing to share?

ML: I have had many interesting and tough workouts over the years but none is as clear as this set. It was a lactate set with about 8 minutes rest between each effort. 3×200 IM fast + 4×100 fast (one of each stroke) so a total of 7 fast efforts over the whole workout.

JG: What do you like to do when you’re not swimming?

ML: Swimming does take up a lot of my time, but I’m a huge fan of European football and follow most of leagues very closely. In addition to being a huge fan of FC Barcelona for years now, I also love to play football myself. Whenever I get a chance, I also like to go fishing!

JG: You’ve participated in the Kalev Open in previous years – what do you think about it and what are you looking forward to about this year’s Tallinn Swimming Invitational/Kalev Open (although you’ll be in California and won’t be able to participate yourself!)

ML: It’s been about 6 years since I’ve been able to actually participate since I’ve been living in California, but I think it’s a great meet and used to host a lot of top athletes from Estonia and other countries. I’m not sure what the lineup is this year but I’m sure it will be an exciting meet where lots of Estonians are going for best times and time cuts for European short course champs.

Martin with the Kalevi Ujumiskool team in Tallinn

Martin with the Kalevi Ujumiskool team in Tallinn

We wish Martin the best of luck in all of his future ventures!

International Lifesaving Champion: A Conversation with Belgium’s Joni Ceusters

joni 9Sixteen-year old Belgian swimmer Joni Ceusters started out his athletic career as an accomplished competitive swimmer, achieving nationally-ranked times at a very young age. A few years ago, however, Joni decided to embark on a new swimming-related venture and joined the sport of lifesaving, which has become a growing sport in many countries. Although the principal purpose of the sport of lifesaving is to train swimmers to be better lifesavers and life guards, lifesaving is also a competitive sport, taking place in swimming pools, at the ocean, or at lakes, with competitions at the national and international level worldwide. We sat down with Joni to talk about his accomplishments in lifesaving and to learn more about the sport and how to train for it.

JG: When did you first start swimming and how did you get involved in the sport?

JC: I started swimming when I was 6 years old. My mum wanted me to become a swimmer because when she was young she had an accident in a river and almost died because she couldn’t swim at a young age. She wanted to make sure that this type of accident never happened to her children, so I was in the pool from quite an early age.

JG: When did you decide to start lifesaving competitions? Where do you go to compete and what is your role as a lifesaver?

JC: I decided to start lifesaving 3 years ago. My sister practiced this sport 2 years before I did, so I already knew a little bit about it. I was so jealous to watch her and her lifesaver teammates swimming with cool mannequins, fins, and so much more while I was bored swimming laps up and back down the pool. One day, I received an email from the coach of the local lifesaving team, asking me if I wanted to try it out one time. I did try it out, and immediately fell in love with the sport!joni 8

JG: Where have you travelled with your competitions?

JC: In lifesaving as a sport, you can travel a lot. I am on the Belgian national team so I often travel with the team to international competitions around the world. I’ve been to countries like France, Germany, Netherlands, Columbia, Australia…. these are the usual locations for large competitions like European and World Championships.

JG: What is your training like for lifesaving and for swimming? What do you like best about the sport?

JC: Lifesaving competitions take place either in the ocean or lake beaches or in swimming pools. So I have to train a lot and train hard. During the summer, I train 6 times per week in the pool and 3 times on the beach and in the ocean. Belgium doesn’t have very good weather except in the summer, and we don’t have very high waves to train in, so for the Belgians the ocean part of the competitions is more difficult…. you can see a big difference between countries like Australia and Belgium in the ocean competitions. But, Belgium is really good in the pool. We train a lot in the pool and we are ranked very high in the pool competitions. In addition to training in the pool, we go to the gym for strength training, since lifesaving is a powerful sport that requires strong arms and legs.

JG: What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had?

 

Joni and his teammates representing Belgium at an international competition.

Joni and his teammates representing Belgium at the 2013 European Junior Championships in Italy

JC: My most rewarding experience takes place each year when we go on a training camp to the south of France to a little village named Hossegor. It is an amazing place – Hossegor is famous for professional surfers because there are waves about 4 meters high or higher than that. We train a lot with our rescue boards in the high waves off Hossegor and it gives me a huge kick when I am riding a big wave. Other rewarding experiences for me are the international competitions, seeing all the countries and meeting good people is awesome!

JG: What are your goals now and what competitions have you participated in most recently?

JC: My goal for now is to be selected for Warendorf (Germany). It is a large competition for countries all over the world in a very fast German 50m pool. Belgium can make a team of 5 boys and 5 girls, so I hope I’ll be part of this selection. My next goal is to train for the World Championships in France next year. For now, I have just returned from the European Junior Championships in Italy. I swam very well there and broke 2 national records.joni 7

JG: Tell me a little bit about the non-swimming side of your life – what do you like to do when you’re not training?

JC: The non-swimming part of my life is just going to school and studying (biological engineering), having fun and going out with my friends. There are a lot of professional athletes who don’t go out much, but my thinking is that you are only young once and taking the time to enjoy your life is also SO important.

JG: You’ve participated in the EU Swim for a few years when you were younger. What do you think about it?

JC: Yes, I participated in the EU Swim, organized by you a few years ago in Poland. It was such a huge experience for me because it also was my first international competition, and it was the first time I swam in a competition with preliminaries and finals. I learned a lot from this competition and I will never forget it.

Thanks, Joni, and best of luck with all of your swimming ventures!

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