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Swimming applications for Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence now open

Applications have opened for a unique sporting qualification for emerging swimmers to combine competition and training with their studies.

The aquatics Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme is now accepting applications for 2024 which is funded by the Department of Education and delivered by Swim England in collaboration with Loughborough College.

The two-year programme is designed to run alongside the athletes chosen further education be it A-Levels, BTEC or a non-sports apprenticeship as well as their clubs training programme.

Athletes born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008 can now apply for this year’s scheme which will run from September 2024 to July 2026 to support their development and help them to achieve excellence within the sport. For the full eligibility, performance criteria and application form click the button below.

The programme 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 an experienced Swim England DiSE assessor who will be on hand to support them every step of the way.

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

“I would definitely recommend it”

Swimmers who have graduated through the programme include Olympic champions Adam Peaty and Rebecca Adlington as well as Paralympic champion Jessica Jane-Applegate and silver medallist Thomas Hamer.

Also amongst the DiSE alumni are recently confirmed Paris 2024 Paralympic duo of Scarlett and Eliza Humphrey.

Speaking on the programme Scarlett said: “I started the DiSE course in 2021 alongside my A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and English Language. DiSE allowed me to gain a sports qualification alongside my A-Levels.

“I enjoyed the course as it contained modules that focused in detail on different aspects of swimming. The course was very flexible, and I was able to complete it around my A-Levels and swimming commitments.

“I found the assessors very helpful and supportive. Holding this qualification could open up other avenues that are outside of the A-Level subjects I initially took.”

Eliza added:  “The workbooks we completed were very thorough, allowing me to understand my sport in more detail. The workshops were very interesting, covering topics that I had not learnt about before, such as media and interview skills. The assessors were really supportive, helping me to understand more about my sport. I really enjoyed taking part in DiSE and would definitely recommend it to others.”

Darren Sims, DiSE assessor manager, said: “The DiSE programme is very unique in that it provides an opportunity to gain qualifications alongside athlete development and training.

“The programme equips them with knowledge and expertise that will allow swimmers to be more efficient with their training and help them build towards a career in either the elite environment and give them skills which they can take with them into a post athletic career.

“We look forward to receiving applications and to helping more young people on their journey both in and out of the pool.”

Applications to the DiSE programme are also open for divingartistic swimming and water polo.

To find out more about DiSE and apply, click here or email [email protected].