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Water polo applications for Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence open

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

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

It 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.

‘Valuable insight into elite sport’

Water polo players who have graduated through the programme include a number of Great Britain’s stars from the 2024 European and world Championships including captain Kathy Rogers, goalkeeper Sophie Jackson and Amelia Peters – who netted the winning penalty to send GB to the European quarter-finals in January.

Speaking on how the DiSE programme supported her Peters said: “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 to psychological skills to enhance my water polo.

“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.”

Paula West, 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 artistic swimmingdiving and swimming.

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