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Water polo players can now apply for Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence

Applications are now open for an industry-leading educational programme for water polo players 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.

Water polo players who have graduated through the programme include senior internationals Thomas Manley, Sophie Jackson, Kathy Rogers and Amelia Peters.

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.

Great Britain international and DiSE graduate Peters said it helped her gain a scholarship at her first-choice university.

She added: “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.

Enhance my water polo

“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 four 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.”

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

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