Swim Team FAQs

How old do you have to be to swim with the team?

  • Generally, the youngest swimmers in the team are in the 3rd year primary, and the oldest swimmers permitted by the League are those who have their 19th birthday in the calendar year of the beginning of the season.

How well do you need to be able to swim in order to compete?

  • You should be able to swim at least crawl, backstroke & breaststroke, and be able to dive.  Competitions are held using US technical rules, and these are interpreted strictly even for the younger swimmers.  All swimmers are required to take a test with the Head Coach before joining the team.

How much does it cost to be in the team?

  • The subscription is €220 per swimmer (IBAN BE80 3101 2372 2677for the 2016-17 season.  There is a small reduction for the 2nd & subsequent swimmers in a family; this is decided by the Swimming Team Committee towards the end of each season based on the financial results of the year and takes the form of a reimbursement. 

What does the subscription include?

  • The subscription includes membership of the European Forces Swimming League, entry to at least 10 competitions per year, transport to one-day meets at SHAPE & Brunsum (NL) for both swimmers and parents, a swimming hat, t-shirt & bag for new swimmers, ribbons & medals won in competitions, plus reimbursement of the expenses of the Team (renting of pools, paying of coaches etc).

What does the subscription not include?

  • Costs not covered include training sessions, the annual stage, transport to & accommodation at meets requiring an overnight stay, transport to home meets at Ceria, the Long Distance Meet, and those held at NATO (Brussels), refreshments at meets, & team clothing.

What is expected from my parents?

  • Parents are expected to pay promptly for subscriptions and additional activities, also to make sure swimmers are on time and properly equipped for competitions.  For the 3 home meets, we expect parents to provide a contribution to refreshments to be sold, and to volunteer as timers, marshals, catering assistance, etc. in order to make the meets run smoothly.

How often do I need to train?

  • We advise primary age swimmers to swim twice a week, and those in secondary to train three times a week.

Where can I train?

  • You can train or take lessons or do training with any of the European Schools’ periscolaire activities, for example CESAME.  You can also train with a local swimming club.

Do I need particular language skills?

  • Either French or English is enough to get by.  Most coaching for our team is done in French, but the working language for officials during competitions is English.  Generally, all the older swimmers and adults involved have sufficient French & English to make sure the younger swimmers are not left out.

Who runs the ESB Swimming Team?

  • The ESB Swimming Team is entirely run by volunteer parents and the coaches. Every year the Parents’ General Assembly elects the members of the Swim Team Committee, which ensures the essential tasks of the Team: organization of meets, recruitment, liaison with the other Teams within the EFSL, outreach, catering at our home meets. Statistics, maintaining of the website and alike.

How is the ESB Swimming Team financed?

  • The ESB is entirely financed through the swimmers’ fees. Some costs are shared with Cesame. Accounts of the Team will be published in this website after approval of the General Assembly.

So, you provide swimming training lessons, don’t you?

  • No, the ESB does not organize training lessons; regular training at the competition level is however needed in order to be members of the Team (see above).

What Championship does the ESB Swimming Team participate in?

  • We participate in the championship of the EFSL, the European Forces Swim League; the EFSL is formed by swimming teams of the US Forces, Nato and European Union. They include young swimmers of the primary and secondary cycles of education. The EFSL is not competitive with, nor to draw participants away from, local competitive swim programmes such as national or regional championships. Each team of the EFSL has a different origin and a different number of competitive swimmers. However, all have the common interests of providing a program of competitive swimming on the local level and a healthy environment in which children can grow emotionally and physically. Presently there are 18 swimming teams affiliated to the EFSL, representing more than 1,000 swimmers throughout Europe. These Teams are located in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.    

What are the qualification times for the final?