Groundbreaking Diploma in Sporting Excellence returns for young English sailors in 2022

Pupils in schools in England from year 12 in September who are interested in racing keelboats and who wish to have a future career in sailing or sports science have the opportunity to apply to the Diploma in Sporting Excellence program at the RYA for 2022.

The Diploma of Sporting Excellence (DiSE) is a two-year educational program and unique sporting qualification designed to meet the needs of student-athletes who show the potential to achieve excellence in their sport.

DiSE supports young sailors in the talent system in England to combine sport and education so they have the skills, knowledge and ability to pursue sporting excellence while developing the skills and qualifications for a career after sailing .

And it can provide a model for the advancement of young seafarers in other parts of the RYA, such as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The program provides a comprehensive curriculum to help young sailors gain further qualification (worth 64 UCAS points) and realize their full potential within the RYA sailing/keelboat pathway. The program aims to increase the accessibility and diversity of the sailing participation base and talent journey.

Each year the RYA bids for program places through Sport England and the Department of Education. This year we managed to obtain 12 places in a continuous competitive process with all Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

“We are extremely proud of the impact and difference this program has made to the youth classes and keelboat sailors,” said Jack Grundy, RYA Performance Manager and DiSE Program Manager.

“This program has helped sailors take the next steps in the Seaway, Performance Track, and Higher Education options. More importantly, it allowed them to grow more in all the little things like nutrition and psychology that help them become professional sailors for the future.

The program aims to increase the accessibility and diversity of the sailing participation base and talent journey | Credit: Paul Wyeth/RYA

Ellie Thomas, a 420 sailor on DiSE, added: “The DiSE program has been hugely beneficial to my boating. The training camps have been amazing with top quality coaches. The theory sessions helped me understand what else goes into being successful in the sport. The program went well thanks to the excellent organization, and it was great to be a part of it.

To be eligible for the DiSE program, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be between the ages of 16 and 18 and starting Grade 12 in September 2022, in full-time education (or between the ages of 19 and 24 if they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan) , when they start the program.
  2. Aspire to progress through the British Keelboat Academy or other future performance programs.
  3. Being a student in a public educational institute, or if a student attends a fee-paying school, he must receive one of the 50% scholarships. See the application form for more details.
  4. Ideally have a minimum of five GCSEs at a minimum grade of 4 (or above), including Maths and English.

The scheme has only 12 places, and these are managed exclusively on a keelboat scheme in line with Sport England objectives and DiSE impact. Therefore, the technical and tactical sessions will be on a keelboat with other students you may not have met before.

The technical and tactical element (sailing) will typically take place over eight weekends, with delivery over 18 months. The theory will take place in camps and remotely. Access to laptops will be required.

The program will start at the end of October or the beginning of November and is not limited to sailing; successful applicants will be required to complete course manuals and will have access to one-on-one sessions with a sports psychologist, sports nutritionist, mentor, and coaching sessions that are part of the degree. You will also need to record all sailing and training hours outside of the program.

Click HERE for the application form, which requires parental/guardian consent.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 4. If you have any problems submitting the form, send an e-mail [email protected] You will be informed by Friday, September 9 whether your application has been accepted.