Jack Beaumont and Jess Leyden inspire DiSE athletes

The two internationals were guest speakers at a recent Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) camp at the National Training Centre in Caversham


Jess (front row, 2nd form left) and Jack (front row, far right) with DiSE athletes and mentors

DiSE is an education and development opportunity aimed at U18 athletes in full time state education, that’s part of the wider athlete development pathway. The camp’s key themes aligned to the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship, and the programme included education and training sessions as well as group task activities looking at communication, teamwork, balancing education and training demands, meeting the energy requirements placed upon a young athlete, as well as training smart. Over 50 DiSE athletes attended the camp from 27 clubs and were supported by DiSE mentors, UK Sports Institute staff and the U19 physiotherapist.

“It was lovely meeting Jack at the weekend and learning about how his rowing progressed from school level to an Olympic medal. Hearing how he overcame obstacles and navigated life at Borlase and beyond gave us lots of ways to improve our rowing and to strengthen the boat club as a whole, as well as advice on how to tackle our individual transitions to University.” – Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School BC Captains

Jack and Jess are both graduates of the DiSE programme and both represented GB at junior, under 23 and senior level. Jack, who rowed as a junior  at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow won silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the quad, after which he retired from international racing; Jess, who learned to row at Hollingworth Lake RC in Greater Manchester, became the first ever GB woman to win an international single sculls title when she took gold at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2013. She went on to become European Champion in the quad in 2022.

They spoke about their rowing journeys and the transitions in their rowing career, as well as lessons they had learned plus some handy tips for the athletes which highlighted some key messages from the other camps sessions.

Jack emphasised the importance of planning for downs as well as ups from day to day and week to week to highlight where hotspots are. His top tip was simply to use a wall planner to record all sporting and education and family commitments so that you can talk to coaches and school tutors – the people on your personal ‘Team Bus’ – ahead of these hotspots to try and work on solutions to alleviate feeling stressed. Stress was also discussed in one of the theory sessions, where a ‘stress bucket’ was introduced to provide a visual analogy.

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Ath;etes doing land training A land training session at the recent Diploma in Sporting Exellence (DiSE) camp