The BSSCongress of 2023 proudly announces Eric van 't Zelfde and Maarten van der Weijden as speakers for the event!
Eric van ’t Zelfde
School director Eric van 't Zelfde, author of the bestselling book Superschool and TV presenter of Dream School, has only one goal in his life: to prove that children from the lower classes can excel.
Eric has been advocating for students in deprived areas for more than 25 years. Eric was a teacher in Den Haag, Scheveningen and Gorinchem, before he became director of Hugo de Groot in Rotterdam in 2009, at the time one of the worst schools in the Netherlands. He turned this school into one of the best schools within 5 years and wrote his experiences about this in the book Superschool.
Until the end of 2022 he was a school director and teacher at College de Brink in Laren. In January 2023, Eric van 't Zelfde started a new project at a school in Drachten.
Maarten van der Weijden
Maarten van der Weijden is a former Dutch professional swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. He was born on March 31, 1981, in Alkmaar, Netherlands. He began swimming at a young age and quickly showed promise as a talented athlete.
In 2001, he was diagnosed with leukemia and had to take a break from swimming to undergo treatment. He recovered and returned to competitive swimming in 2003, winning his first national title in the 1500-meter freestyle.
Maarten represented the Netherlands at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he won a gold medal in the 10km open water swim. He retired from competitive swimming in 2009 but continued to be involved in the sport as a commentator and coach.
In 2017, he announced that he would attempt to swim the 200-kilometer route of the Elfstedentocht, a famous ice skating race in the Netherlands, to raise money for cancer research. He completed the swim in 55 hours and raised over 5 million euros for cancer research.