“It has given me deeper insight into goal-planning and setting smarter, more realistic targets”

Applications for the Diploma in Sporting Excellence programme for promising teenage rowers close on 1 September – find out more below

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The Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme is a part-time two-year course for promising 16-year-olds who have the talent and determination to progress into the GB Rowing Team. Applications for the Diploma in Sporting Excellence close on 1 September.

Teenagers Charlotte and Carla from Henley Rowing Club, and pictured above, are on the DiSE programme. We asked them about their experiences.

1 – Why did you apply for DiSE?

Charlotte: The main thing that prompted me to apply for the DiSE programme was the opportunity to develop my knowledge of rowing and the background of the sport in different categories such as lifestyle and future planning. I had always paid attention to technical detail but had not necessarily given much thought to the financial demands of rowing as a career, for example, so I wanted to extend my knowledge.

Carla: I was at a national training camp in 2018 and the GB Rowing Team staff talked to us about the course and all the benefits we could experience from it, so I thought it was a no-brainer.

2 – What difference has it made to your rowing and also your overall development?

Charlotte: It has given me deeper insight into goal-planning and setting smarter, more realistic targets for different points in my rowing season.

I have also had a greater insight into how rowing impacts the future, if it were to be pursued as a career, and how one’s lifestyle adapts around the sport and what it entails.

The main thing that I have enjoyed is the people that I have met on the camps and the friendships that I have formed

Personally, I have become more independent through completing more challenging assignments such as financial plans and cash flows – it has given me a much broader perspective on how rowing can impact your lifestyle. It has really helped me to understand the financial demands of the sport, especially once you oversee your own finances.

I have also become more confident through the professional discussions that are included in the two-year course.

3 – Has it been helpful to have a mentor?

Carla: Having a mentor has been really helpful as it’s given me access to another person other than my coach with a wider understanding of the sport than me. This has helped me become a smarter, more aware athlete.

Not only did my mentor help me by discussing rowing and physical/technical aspects, they also acted as an educator helping to further my understanding regarding nutrition, sports psychology and financial planning.

I would definitely recommend DiSE to younger athletes as it opens up your eyes to different areas of rowing and professional sport

4 – Overall, what are you enjoying most about DiSE?

Charlotte: The main thing that I have enjoyed about DiSE is the people that I have met on the camps and the friendships that I have formed with other DiSE athletes from other clubs.

I have also enjoyed completing the technical tasks as it has really helped me develop my rowing strokes and my technical mindset and approach to training and how I now go about it.

DiSE experiences

Millie Warren from Ardingly is in her second year of DiSE. Read her feedback here.

5 – Would you recommend it to other students?

Charlotte: I would definitely recommend DiSE to younger athletes as it opens up your eyes to different areas of rowing and professional sport that you might not have noticed as much.

It also equips you with a greater range of life skills that you don’t initially need, but become really vital when things such as job interviews and university applications come around.

Carla: Yes, it helps to develop your understanding of what it takes to be a successful and happy rower/athlete, focusing on the physical, mental, technical and tactical aspects of the sport. As well as allowing you to network across the country with other rowers and British Rowing coaches/staff.

6 – Anything else that you’d like to mention?

Carla: Another positive is that it’s also worth UCAS points which is helpful during the university application process.

If you are interested in applying for DiSE you should contact Loretta Williams Programme Manager for DiSE  via [email protected] in the first instance.

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