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Groundbreaking Diploma in Sporting Excellence Returns for English Youth Sailors in 2022

Pupils in England starting Year 12 this September who are interested in racing keelboats and aspiring to a future career in sailing or sports science have the opportunity to apply to the RYA Diploma in Sporting Excellence program for 2022 apply.

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

DiSE supports young sailors in the talent system in England to combine sport and education so that they have the skills, knowledge and competence to strive for excellence in sport whilst developing the skills and qualifications for a post-sailing career.

And it could be a model for promoting young sailors in other RYA regions such as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The program offers a comprehensive curriculum to support young sailors to earn an additional qualification (worth 64 UCAS points) and achieve their full potential within the RYA sail/keelboat path. The program aims to increase the accessibility and diversity of the sailing participation base and talent path.

Each year the RYA applies for program places through Sport England and the Department of Education. This year we were able to secure 12 places in a never-ending competition with all Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

“We are very proud of the impact and difference this program has made to the youth classes and keelboat sailors,” said Jack Grundy, RYA performance manager and director of the DiSE program.

“This program has helped sailors take the next steps in seafaring, the achievement pathway and higher education. More importantly they have been able to develop in all the little things like nutrition and psychology that help them mature into professional sailors for the future.”

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

Ellie Thomas, a 420 sailor with DiSE, added: “The DiSE program has been of great benefit to my sailing. The training camps were fantastic with great coaching. The theory units helped me to understand what else there is to be successful in sport. The program ran smoothly due to the great organization and it was great to be a part of it.”

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

  1. They must be 16-18 years old at the start of the program and be in Grade 12 full-time education in September 2022 (or 19-24 years old if they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan).
  2. Aspire to attend the British Keelboat Academy or other future achievement programmes.
  3. If you study at a government educational institution or attend a fee-paying school, you must receive a 50% scholarship. See the application form for more details.
  4. Ideally you will have at least five GCSEs with a minimum grade of 4 (or higher) including Maths and English.

The program has only 12 places and these are run exclusively on a keelboat program in accordance with the aims and impact of DiSE by Sport England. Therefore, the technical and tactical sessions take place on a keelboat with other students you may not have met before.

The technical and tactical part (sailing) usually takes place over eight weekends, delivery takes 18 months. The theory takes place in camps and remotely. Access to laptops is required.

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The program starts in late October or early November and is more than just sailing; Successful applicants are required to complete course books and have access to 1:1 sessions with a sports psychologist, sports nutritionist, mentor and coach which are part of the diploma. You must also record all sailing and training hours outside of the program.

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

Applications must be submitted by Sunday, September 4, 11:59 p.m. If you have trouble submitting the form, send an email [email protected] You will be notified by Friday September 9th if your application is successful.

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