Come Sunday, September 8, 2013, Amsterdam will be celebrating the historic Amsterdam City Swim. On this exciting day, all canal cruise pedalos as well as boats will cease plying their usual trade, to give way to about 1,600 gritty swimmers, for a rather long swim.
Canal swim, an act of charity
The Amsterdam Canal Swim is organized in order to raise much-needed funds to extend help for those unfortunate people who are suffering from the Motor Neuron disease, better known as ALS here. This remarkable event witnesses swimmers raising at least 300 Euros in sponsorships, prior to leaping headlong into Amsterdam canals to swim a course, covering a distance of more than two kilometers in the process. And as you swim along you get marvelous glimpses of Hortus Botanicus, the Hermitage Museum and also the Carrétheatre.
How it all began?
It all began when 14 close friends swam across the Hellespont on August 30, 2011. They were swimming for their good old friend named Weert Jan Weerts, who was afflicted with ALS and in the process were able to raise as much as 90.000 Euros. This human gesture resulted in a lot of encouragement as well as donations which inspired the group of ardent friends to organize the great annual event called Amsterdam City Swim. The chief motives for this was to bring popular attention to ALS as also raising funds to conduct research on the disease.
What is ALS
ALS is a motor-neuron disease that affects the muscles that begin to fail one by one, ending ultimately in the death of the sufferer. At present the condition is incurable. The life expectancy of an average patient is a mere three years. Nothing is known about what causes ALS and so intense research on the terminal condition is absolutely necessary.
Amsterdam City Swim: the route
The swim begins at Amsterdam’s well-known landmark, the Marine Establishment situated in central Amsterdam and braving the flow of the IJ, the hardy swimmers passes along Het Scheepvaartmuseum and makes it towards the Nieuwe Herengracht. Then they turn left as they reach River Amstel and swim towards the Royal Theatre Carré and from there double back. Then they take another left turn and finish at the Keizersgracht canal.
Support the swimmers!
Although it is too late for individuals to participate in the event, you can sign up as a part of any business team. And in case you are not really swimming in the City Swim, you can still head along to support the brave swimmers as they keep moving along the unique Amsterdam canals.
Originally, the swim was launched in order to celebrate the earnest bid of Amsterdam for the 2028 Olympics. By taking part in the great swim, you will be rewarded with a rare opportunity of swimming along the heart of the great historical capital city. And if you are generous enough to donate to this human venture it will be good karma too.
For further information, you can visit the website of the Amsterdam City Swim.