Lifeguard Course and Swimming History

Lifeguard Course

Swimming has been around for a long time with lifeguard courses. One has even found rock paintings dating back about 8,000 years, showing people standing up swimming a kind of breaststroke with a lifeguard course. About 3000 years ago the Egyptians swam in the Nile, children were raised with swimming lessons.

They probably swam here with some kind of leg crawl. Swimming was also important for the Greeks, if you wanted to work somewhere, you had to at least have a swimming diploma. Especially if you wanted to hold public office. This way of swimming was more like the current method, a kind of breaststroke and back crawl.

Olympics with Lifeguard Course

Although swimming competitions were held, swimming was not part of the Olympic Games held every four years in Greece. The sports of the Olympics at the time were: javelin throwing, discus throwing, running, chariot racing, and wrestling. They simply swim in open water or in the bathhouses.

The Romans also thought swimming was important. If you were in the army, you had to be able to swim with a lifeguard course. They even had to be able to swim across a river with their packs on their backs. The Germans were the inventors of the front crawl, they also turned out to be very good swimmers.

Swim clothed instead of naked

In the Middle Ages, there was a ban on swimming, which was lifted after the Middle Ages. Now they went into the water clothed and not naked as before, as the Egyptians and the Romans did. In Japan, there was already a swimming organization from the end of the 16th century.

The Emperor of Japan had ensured that every schoolchild learned to swim. Swimming competitions were again organized in Europe, but it took a while before the first competition pool was built. That first competition pool was in England. Swimming was one of the Olympic sports for the first time during the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, but only for men.

They had to cover three distances and in the sea, namely the 100 meters, the 500 meters, and the 1200 meters. It didn’t matter how they did it, as long as they swam. The World Championships have been there since 1973 and the European Championships since 1926.

Swimming is a sport for everyone

Swimming is now a sport for everyone. Men, women or children, anyone who likes to swim can take up this sport lifeguard course. This can be in a recreational or competitive way. In addition to regular swimming, many other sports have been added that have to do with swimming. Just think of a triathlon, water polo, synchronized swimming, artificial swimming, diving or rescue swimming.

Swimming diplomas

You can also get various swimming diplomas with swimming, such as the Swimming ABC. These three diplomas are the basis of swimming education, but there are many more diplomas in the field of swimming skills, rescue swimming, inland water, beach, boat rescue, instructor training or professional diploma in swimming rescue.


Through the ages, swimming was not just a form of survival. The relaxing effect of water also became increasingly apparent. Learning to swim became a part of education, especially among educated people with lifeguard courses. Because by mastering the art of swimming, one could make use of the beneficial effects of the water. The wealthy Greeks and Romans built large bathhouses so that people could move and relax in the water. Swimming became a form of exercise and greatly improved health.


As mentioned, being able to swim was an important part of surviving during wartime. For example, there are stories about Napoleon’s army that learned to swim in military swimming schools, in order to attack enemies near wetlands with a lifeguard course. The surprising effect and the ability to escape via water gave swimming soldiers an advantage.


When it is warm, people simply look for cooling in lakes, canals, and the sea. This was also the case in the past, but the swimming outside had more disadvantages. Because the cooling often happened in polluted places, which was not good for health. There was therefore a need for more regulation of swimming areas.

For example, at the beginning of the 19th century, areas of deposited bathing water were created, where one could swim (somewhat) in a ‘clean way’. In addition to allowing people to cool off here, swimming education was also increasingly considered with lifeguard courses. Swimming schools (often small) were opened, where children, adolescents and soldiers learned to swim. Often the swimmer was tied to a fishing rod and the art of swimming was taught from a boat.

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