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Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) for Water Polo

DiSE logo
The Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) is a unique and industry-leading programme delivered by Swim England in conjunction with Loughborough College.

This government-funded programme is fully integrated into all Swim England talent pathways and offers the perfect environment for athletes to harmoniously combine their sport and education. An extensive list of DiSE alumni have gone on to enjoy continued international success on the world stage.

To find out more information about more information about the DiSE programme, click here. To find out about how to apply for DiSE if you’re a swimmer, keep reading.

Where DiSE falls on the Swim England Water Polo Talent Pathway

Criteria to apply

Athletes must meet both the DfE criteria and Swim England performance criteria to be eligible

DiSE Department for Education (DfE) eligibility criteria

1. To be eligible for DiSE programme funding, a student must meet the following criteria:

a. Be aged 16 to 18 (or aged 19 to 24 if they have an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan), when they start the programme.

b. Subject to paragraph 2 below, be enrolled on a state funded study programme for the full duration of the DiSE programme, and be studying towards an academic (e.g., A levels) or technical qualification (e.g., NVQs or City and Guilds).

c. Must not be employed by their sport body or club on a professional contract.

2. The requirement in paragraph 1b. “be enrolled on a state funded study programme”, does not apply to students who attend a fee-paying school for their main study programme in the following circumstances:

a. The student is in receipt of the school’s means-tested bursary of at least 50% fee remission; or

b. The student is in receipt of a talent / ability-based scholarship of at least 50% but were this not to be the case then they would have otherwise qualified for the school’s means-tested bursary of at least 50% fee remission; or

c. At least 50% of the student’s fees are being paid by a third sector organisation but were this not to be the case then they would have otherwise qualified for the school’s means-tested bursary of at least 50% fee remission.

Swim England performance criteria

Learners/athletes must meet the Swim England criteria below:

  • Born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008
  • Represent GB and be a member of an English, Scottish or Welsh club. Additional criteria may need to be met for Scottish & Welsh Swimmers before being accepted
  • Live in England (or Wales)
  • Engaged on a National Talent Programme: National Squad (please see our National Squad Selection Policy for detail on performance standards required).

Focus:

  • Swimming ability testing
  • Eggbeater and mobility testing
  • Ball skills – technique and accuracy

In addition, we will look at commitment, attitude, track record, coach ability, trainability, and wider holistic aspects of an athlete.

How to apply

Closing date: 8 July 2024

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Past alumni

Past alumni of athletes to obtain the DiSE qualification include:

  • Thomas Manley – European Championships England and GB senior, WA World Cup.
  • Sophie Jackson – European Championships Eindhoven 2024, World Championships Doha 2024
  • Kathy Rogers – Senior European Championships Eindhoven 2024, World Championships Doha 2024
  • Joel Leighton – England Jnr. Snr, Great Britain Jnr. World Universiade
  • Katy Cutler – Senior European Championships Eindhoven 2024, World Championships Doha 2024
  • Jordan Elliot – World Universiade England and GB senior, WA World Cup
  • Anya Clapperton – Senior European Championships Eindhoven 2024, World Championships Doha 2024
  • Amelia Peters – GBR Senior GB Junior, Senior European Championships Eindhoven 2024, World Championships Doha 2024

Testimonials

Amelia Peters

“As a student studying science based A levels, I found the DISE programme gave me a valuable insight into aspects of elite sport which I would not have gained at school. The units allowed me to consider a range of ideas from tactical skills to psychological skills to enhance my water polo.

“I found the workload completely manageable alongside my 4 A levels and GB training. I particularly enjoyed the face to face workshops where I met other talented athletes from different aquatic disciplines to discuss our experiences. In a non-covid year, the training trip abroad would have been a great highlight.

“When looking at university options, the qualification allows you to demonstrate how serious you are about your sport when talking to performance sport coaches. It helped me to be awarded a scholarship at my first choice university –University of St Andrews. I am also now training in the GB Senior Women’s Water Polo squad and look forward to applying the things I learnt through DISE in my training.

If water polo isn’t your sport, you can apply to be on the DiSE programme for one of our other sports, to find out more information, click on your sport below.

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