On August 30th, 2011 a group of 14 friends named the Hellespont Swimmers decided to swim across the Hellespont. They did this on behalf of their mutual friend, Weert Jan Weerts, who died in December 2013 due to ALS. Based on the multitude of positive reactions and donations, the Hellespont swimmers decided to take it to the next step and bring this swim to the Netherlands. The driving factors are to raise awareness of ALS and funding for research into this disease on behalf of Weert Jan Weert and all other patients suffering from this relentless disease.
On September 9th, 2012 five members of the Hellespont Swimmers, whom now form the Amsterdam City Swim Foundation and in collaboration with House of Sports, organized the first Amsterdam City Swim. Nearly 1100 swimmers swam through the Amsterdam canals in order to raise a total of €740,000 for the ALS Foundation. One year later, the amount of swimmers as well as donations doubled. With 2000 swimmers in the Amsterdam canals, a grand total of €1,7 million was raised for the ALS Foundation in the Netherlands.