New and improved Diploma in Sporting Excellence in Sailing returns

A pathway to empower our future Olympians
08 Jun 23

Are you a Year 12 student starting this September? Do you sail in a recognised youth class? Are you passionate about achieving success in both sailing and education?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you should apply for our Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme.

Introducing DiSE

The Diploma in Sporting Excellence supports young athletes in combining sport and education through a government scheme. The RYA secures programme places annually, including 21 places for 2023. This two-year programme is designed for student-athletes who show potential for excellence in their sport.

It provides a unique sporting qualification that prepares them for post-sailing careers. With a comprehensive syllabus, it empowers young sailors to achieve their full potential within the RYA sailing pathway, offering an additional qualification worth 64 UCAS points. The programme fosters inclusive, fun, and supportive performance environments, facilitating local development.

Charting your course

The DiSE programme goes beyond sailing itself, encompassing additional components that are integral to the Diploma. Participants are required to complete set coursebooks and have access to personalized 1-2-1 sessions with a Sports Psychologist, Sports Nutritionist, Mentor, and Coaches. They are also expected to keep a record of their sailing and training hours outside the programme.

The course covers various units, including Tactical and Technical skills, Drugs in Sport, Values, Behaviours & Culture, Mental Skills, Health & Safety, Communication, Sports Injuries, Lifestyle, Careers, Managing Finance, and Nutrition.

Inclusive talent pathway

The RYA programme aims to create an inclusive talent pathway that nurtures individuals with exceptional potential for sailing success. A challenge for young sailors highlighted by our research reveals a decline in youth sailing club activity,.  This decline can be attributed to barriers that young people face, such as increased travel times and expenses required to access quality training opportunities.

To tackle this challenge, the 2023 DiSE programme will look to establish inclusive and supportive performance environments within local clubs. By implementing the 2023 DiSE programme in three clubs  across different regions, we will enhance the training accessibility, to reduce travel costs, and provide secure, high-quality practice spaces .


To be eligible for the DiSE programme, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Ages 16 to 18, starting Year 12 in September 2023, in full-time education (or aged 19 to 24 with an Education, Health and Care plan).
  • Studying at a state education institute. For students in fee-paying schools, they must meet specific conditions related to fee remission.
  • Ideally, have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at a grade of 4 or above, including Maths and English.
  • Currently sailing and competing in a recognised youth class.
  • Students should be from England. Consideration for students from Scotland or Wales will be at the discretion of the NGB with Sport England. Unfortunately, students from Northern Ireland cannot be considered.

If you meet the above criteria and wish to be considered for the programme, please complete the expression of interest application form by 23 June, 2023. In case of any issues with the form submission, please email Notification of successful applications will be sent by 31 July 2023.