Applications now open for Diploma in Sporting Excellence starting September 2024

If you have high rowing aspirations, are a J16 rower (or aged 19-24 with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan), and attend a state-funded school or college, this qualification – worth 64 UCAS points – is for you!


There’s more to being a top rower than ‘just’ developing good technique and building the strength and physiology you need to win races. You’ll get more from the hours of training that you’ve put in on the water and in the gym if you have a solid supporting knowledge of psychology, tactics, nutrition, and even communication skills to work effectively with your crew mates and coach.

That’s why British Rowing values running the national Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme.

Does DiSE really help young rowers?

DiSE has the twin goals of helping you to become a better rower while also providing you with 64 UCAS points. Rowing really could help you get into university!

“DiSE has helped me to focus on little things in rowing that make a big difference, like performance profiling” – current DiSE Athlete Freddie from Northwich RC

In 2023, 10 members of the GB Under 23 Rowing Team (Worlds and Europeans) were DiSE graduates, and a further seven DiSE athletes were selected to row for GB’s U19, Coupe de la Jeunesse, World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals and European Rowing Beach Sprint Championships teams. Seven DiSE athletes and graduates also represented their home countries at the Home International Rowing competitions with a member of the coaching team also a DiSE graduate.

DiSE graduate Izzy Lancaster from Bradford ARC, who won gold in the Junior mixed doubles at the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals last year said, “The whole course was a really great experience. I went on three camps which were so much fun. I met loads of really amazing rowers, who I still go around the country and row with now. And I was coached by a variety of club and GB coaches which really brought on my technique. The actual online course was incredibly interesting and helpful; I use both the financial and nutritional planning at uni now. I think it’s an excellent opportunity especially for someone who comes from a very small club in an area where not much rowing happens.”

Interested in enrolling on the next DiSE course?

Applications are open until 5pm on Friday, 5 July 2024.

Find out more and apply

Worried about fitting it in on top of your training and other studies?

“The skills and knowledge that you’ll develop on the 18-month course will help you be efficient in your training and in other areas of your life,” DiSE Manager Loretta Williams explains. “For young rowers with full schedules at the boat club and at school or college, adding an extra course on top of their existing A-level, BTEC or other studies may seem like the last thing they need. But in fact, the reverse is true. The skills and knowledge that you’ll develop on the 18-month course will help you be efficient in your training and time management, including when to refuel and what to eat for optimum recovery! DiSE will prepare you for the elite athlete environment you so much want to join.”

Izzy Lancaster (r) shaking hands with opposition Photo: Ben Tufnell

Izzy Lancaster adds, “I now plan my week every Sunday night on a massive spreadsheet that I’ve created. Each day starts at 5am and finishes at 8pm. I also time how long my revision is so that my scheduling can become more precise. Until my exams came around I would ‘allow’ myself to do other things than just row and study but during them this was not something I factored in and just sort of accepted that that’s how it was going to be for a bit. So I’d defo recommend scheduling and using the lifestyle planning advice and multiple calendars you are given on DiSE!”

Find out more and apply