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Diploma in Sporting Excellence


2017 World Championships Silver medallist Jack Beaumont (right) is a DiSE graduate. Photo (c) Naomi Baker

The Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE), formally the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence is a two year programme that provides a unique sporting qualification designed to meet the needs of young athletes who have the realistic potential to achieve excellence in their sport and are seeking to perform at the highest level.

At the end of the programme, students graduate with a Diploma in Sporting Excellence, a L3 qualification which carries UCAS points.


Who is it for?

Athletes aged 16 to 19 who demonstrate excellence in rowing. It is primarily focused on athletes on the England Talent Pathway or athletes that have been identified through World Class Start or Para-rowing talent ID programmes.


What does it involve?

Athletes enrolled onto the DiSE programme are required to prove that they have all the attributes, both in skill and knowledge, to develop their rowing performance and represent the sport in a positive light.

Athletes are expected to take part in seven to nine rowing specific or related training sessions each week, comprising of:

  • Water-Based (4 – 5 sessions)
  • Cross-Training (1 – 2 sessions)
  • Strength & Conditioning (2 sessions)

The specific weekly timetable for each athlete will be dependent upon which route they entered the scheme through and the time of year.

Evidence is submitted by the athlete to demonstrate competence. This can include training diary extracts, food diaries, race plans and reviews, goal reviews and video evidence or professional discussions.

To support athletes throughout the two year programme regular progress reviews are scheduled alongside key contact dates. DiSE camps, club visits and online assessments and tutorials all form part of the review process.


What happens when you complete the programme?

At the end of the two year DiSE programme athletes who have demonstrated the competence required and who show clear potential could have the opportunity to continue within the sport and move to the Under 23 trials system, training through a suitable club and aiming for GB representation. Alternatively an athlete could use the DiSE Programme and Diploma as a foundation to continue within the sport of rowing in an alternative career such as:

  • Coaching
  • Club Development
  • Sports Science Specialist Support

Recent Diploma in Sporting Excellence (formally AASE) graduates include Olympians, World Championship medallists and junior world champions.

Jack Beaumont competed at Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the men’s quadruple sculls, finishing fifth and won silver at the 2017 World Championships.

Jessica Leyden was the first female single sculler to win a World Rowing Junior Championships gold medal in 2013 in the year she graduated and has gone on to win bronze at the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

Chris Lawrie was part of the crew who won Great Britain’s first gold medal in the junior men’s quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2015, the same year that he graduated from the programme.

Current rowers who are working towards their diploma include Sports Aid’s ‘One to Watch’ Holly Dunford, a 2017 junior world champion in the women’s double sculls and Victor Kleshnev, World Rowing Junior Championships silver medallist in the men’s quadruple sculls.


Who runs the programme?

British Rowing is responsible for the DiSE programme in rowing, delivering it via suitably qualified Coach Educators. The programme is coordinated by Loretta Williams (Coach Educator, GB Rowing Team).

Specialist GB Rowing Team Coach Educators work as a team to deliver and assess the DiSE qualification. They are responsible for helping the athlete work towards the diploma and will work in partnership with the rower’s coaches and support staff to ensure they are supported throughout the delivery of all the elements of the DiSE programme.


Find out more about DiSE

If you are interested in finding more about the programme and how you can become an DiSE graduate then email Loretta Williams.


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