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German Exchange History

The exchange with  Bergischer Schwimmclub68 (BSC) in the twin town of Overath was established over 40 years ago as part of the twinning system and many friendships have been made over the years. It continues now due to the generosity of members in opening their homes to BSC swimmers, although the number of our swimmers visiting Germany has been quite small over the last 6 years.

Overath is a small town in the North Rhine-Westphalia area of Germany, close to the Rhine and about 25km east of Cologne in the Bergisches Land.

It works as an alternating biennial exchange taking place in October. There is a competitive gala between the two clubs but its main purpose is social. Swimmers have the opportunity to discover more about the home countries and to enjoy joint social occasions.

Celebrating the exchange in 2004!

The exchange visits take place in October. BSC visit England usually for the first week in October and the following year, Colne Valley visit Germany during the October half term holiday. The visits take the form of days out for the visitors combined with evening events for host families and their guests combined.

Travel to Germany is by coach via P & O Ferries from Hull to Rotterdam and then again by coach through Holland and Germany to Overath where we are met by our hosts.

Colne Valley lining up before the gala at the shallow end in 1985

We are one of the very few organizations taking part in the twinning arrangements and we are proud of our record in maintaining the contacts established by the founders of the club. We always welcome new host families coming forward to take part in the exchange and offer support during the visit so that any difficulties can be ironed out quickly.

Visit our German Friends website here –

The first exchange trip – 1971

Below are some pictures of previous exchanges