Swim England Artistic Swimming

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Artistic swimmers can now apply for Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence

Applications are now open for an industry-leading educational programme for artistic swimmers on the Swim England talent pathway.

The Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) is delivered in conjunction with Loughborough College and gives athletes the opportunity to combine their studies alongside training and competitions.

It is a two-year programme which is delivered through Swim England workshops, camps, club visits and online one-to-one progress reviews, supported by professional coaches, specialist practitioners, talent staff and DiSE assessors.

Topics covered include career planning and finance, lifestyle nutrition, health and safety, technical, tactical and physical skills, mental skills, anti-doping, sports injuries, behaviours and values plus comms and media.

Artistic swimmers who have graduated through the programme include double World Series team medallists Isabelle Thorpe – who also represented Great Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Daniella Lloyd, Cerys Hughes and Millie Costello.

Developing skills and qualifications

Rachel Weston, one of the Swim England DiSE managers, said: “This fantastic opportunity offers the perfect environment for talented athletes to combine their sport and education and earn a prestigious, recognised qualification.

“Young, emerging athletes will gain the skills, knowledge and ability to pursue their full potential in sporting excellence, alongside developing the skills and qualifications for their post-18 career.”

The DiSE 2022 programme will run over two academic years from September 2022 to July 2024 and applications must be submitted by 30 June 2022.

Applicants must be born between 1 September 2005 and 21 August 2006, be enrolling on a full-time state-funded further education programme, a member of an English club and meet the sport specific performance criteria.

Hughes said the DiSE programme helped build a solid skill base for the future.

She added: “I really enjoyed the DiSE programme and definitely feel that it has aided my development both within my sport and my studies.

“The programme picked up on aspects of artistic swimming that as an athlete I had never really thought about before, such as the purpose of different training types as well as tailoring routines to what the judges may be looking for to gain the best results.

Supportive and very understanding

“One of the areas that I feel has become the most useful is understanding how to create SMART goals.

“Training during the Covid-19 pandemic was difficult at times and goals were a good source of motivation, so having the knowledge to create appropriate ones that I could see myself achieving in the period of time I set definitely enabled me to get the most out of my training as a senior GB team athlete, even without a pool.

“I now even learn about SMART goals as part of my degree course so DiSE gave me a good head start!

“I felt the programme was very manageable alongside my A level studies and it prompted me to improve my organisation skills further which was useful when it came to scheduling revision around competitions and travelling abroad.

“The DiSE assessors were so supportive and very understanding of how busy an athlete’s life is so I definitely don’t think I could have completed the programme without them!

“I would 100 per cent recommend that anyone who is given the opportunity to take part in the programme should go for it because DiSE builds a solid skill base that can be taken forwards into the future.”

To find out more about DiSE and apply, click here or email rachel.weston@swimming.org.

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