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Sailing Through a Dual Career

Document Name Revision Date Change
Sailing Through a Dual Career Guide August 2021 New (no change)
Sailor University Options August 2021 New (no change)


The term 'dual career' can refer to an array of different forms of education and work that an individual is involved in alongside their sailing career, for example:

  • Sailing with a Regional Training Group and doing GCSEs
  • Sailing with a Youth Performance Squad and doing GCSEs, Further Education, or an apprenticeship
  • Sailing at BUCS or club competitions and studying Higher Education
  • Sailing with an Olympic Performance or Transition programme and studying at Higher Education
  • Sailing with a Transition programme and working full or part-time
  • Sailing with an Olympic Performance squad and taking a distance learning course

We at British Sailing are committed to supporting sailors in a dual career and we have conducted some research to support both sailors and parents.

A 'go-to' guide has been produced, which has been designed to be used electronically. It's a document you can pick up every now and then, not necessarily to read all in one go!

The guide can be found in the table above (click on the title of the document). In addition to this, we have provided a guide of universities and what they can offer to help you with your sailing (this research has been conducted directly with the Universities). The University Options document can also be found in the table above.

Please note that the 'Sailing Through a Dual Career' Guide, and Sailor University Options will be reviewed and updated periodically. Any changes will be listed in the above table.

Fancy just an overall view of each area covered in the guide? - We've got this covered! Please look in the table below at three infographics in each area (click on the link of the title):

Infographic Name Description
U18 Dual Career How do I balance sailing with school or sixth form?
The Post-18 Decision Dual Career What route to take once Further Education has finished?
Post-18 Dual Career How do I balance sailing with education or work?

Local Funding

Whilst other sources of funding are sporadic and often geographically diverse there are a couple of routes which you may wish to try sourcing funding locally.

Approach your local education authority or your local council Sport Development Department, they may have schemes or can informally help and support talented performers. Do not just ask for cash, often they can offer free bus passes, gym membership, etc. which can save on costs. They are also the most likely source of information and local contacts for marrying up athletes in their area and grant opportunities. We recommend you speak to your local Regional Performance Manager for more information.

Consider an approach to your Sailing Club - many club committees and members like the opportunity to support the aspirations of young sailors and will support their endeavours. Write a letter to the club committee outlining your plans and ask what support if any can be offered, some offer honorary membership when sailors achieve a certain standard.

Approach your school; school governors or Parents Teacher Association (PTA). Some schools may be able to offer a 'gifted and talented' scholarship scheme to support your endeavours of their pupils.


SportsAid is a charity helping young, unfunded athletes to overcome one of their greatest barriers to success - the financial challenge of trying to become Britain's next generation of Olympians and World Champions. The charity helps over 1,000 athletes across more than 60 sports each year, the majority aged 12 to 18, by providing them with an average award of £1,000.

SportsAid is also responsible for the Government-backed Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), helping talented sports people balance academic life and performance sport (please see below for further information on TASS).

Nominations and eligibility

Typically, this is focused on the British Sailing Squad (non-UK Sport funded sailors), Transition programme (from Youth to Olympic Classes) then to the Youth Performance Squad. If there are not enough places for all Youth Performance Squad sailors, this will then go by Youth Squad ranking at the time of nominations.

Most SportsAid recipients will only receive a grant for one year.

We receive a limited number of places, which changes annually.

Sailors are typically aged 18 and meet the following principles:

  • Live and train in Great Britain, during the year of nomination sailors must not have represented any other nation at international events
  • Normally be in a current British Sailing Squad, Transition programme (Youth to Olympic), Youth Performance Squad and must be committed to the RYA pathway programme
  • Not be on UK Sport funding

Level of support

Grant values are approximately £1000 each, but some may be slightly less or occasionally enhanced by local partnerships or additional SportsAid support. If a nominated sailor is not successful in receiving an award, this is no reflection on their performance.

Sailors and parents are also invited to workshops to develop the professional skills needed to be successful in sport.

Length of award

Annual (paid the following year of the nomination). Please note that by being nominated one year does not guarantee you will be nominated the following year.

Nomination process

Nominations are made in November / December annually based on the principles of the current year. All nominated sailors will be contacted by email in advance. Nominated sailors will then need to complete an online profile using the SportsAid Portal. SportsAid will use the information you provide on the online portal to approach partners who provide the funding for the Sailors’ award. SportsAid work with a variety of commercial organisations and charitable trusts across the UK that are interested in supporting young talented athletes and providing them with much-deserved recognition.

Successful sailors will be notified via email by SportsAid the following year of nomination if they are able to source an award. Awards are made at several points throughout the year; all those nominated do not necessarily receive the financial award on the same date. It is important to remember that not receiving a SportsAid award is not a reflection of your performance.

Find out more about SportsAid

TASS - Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme

TASS is an athlete support programme to help balance the demands of their sport and education.

Backed by Sport England, the TASS partnerships brings together student-athletes, sports, and education institutions to support our country's most exciting young talents who are not already supported via the Olympic pathway. It aims to identify and support potential Olympic medal winners of the future.

Sailing has moved to a hub model that provides sailing-specific sport science support, at the following Universities:

  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • Solent University
  • Bournemouth University
  • University of Portsmouth

Hubs are identified and selected based on the number of sailors studying and living in proximity to the site. We have also built a relationship with the sports science team at these hubs, which ensures support is aligned and specifically designed to support sailors. Sailors will benefit from the following services:

  • Lifestyle
  • Physiotherapy
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Nutrition
  • TASS Medical Scheme and Bupa Healthy Minds

Sailors are reviewed quarterly through the RYA sailing coach and TASS Delivery Site to ensure the nominated sailors are engaging with the service, and still committed to the RYA pathway programme.

TASS and Sailing Eligibility

Places are nominated and prioritised in line with their sailing level, as outlined below:

  1. British Sailing Squad (non-UK Sport funded sailors)
  2. Transition Programme (from Youth to Olympic Classes)
  3. Remaining places allocated to Youth Performance Squad (by ranking)

Sailors nominated must be able to engage and access all services provided with the TASS Delivery Site.

Sailors on TASS will be reviewed considering the following areas:

  1. Class/programme outcome event
  2. Sailors will need to be selected into a programme listed above (see eligibility no 1-3)
  3. Progression, performance, and behaviours, with feedback from coaches and support staff at the TASS delivery site
  4. Lack of engagement with the TASS delivery site

If the sailor continues not to meet the required standard, they will be removed from TASS at the next review point.

Nomination process

Please note that sailors do not nominate themselves; British Sailing considers the eligibility to assess who is suitable for TASS, based on the above eligibility and their proximity to one of the above-named TASS Delivery Sites. The sailor must be in one of the programmes listed above, and nominations are done in the order of 1-3. Sailors will be notified by email if they are to be nominated for TASS.

We must stress that if you are not in a British Sailing Squad, Transition programme, or Youth Performance Squad, we will not be able to consider you. There are many Colleges and Universities that are TASS Dual Career Accredited, which is different from this specific scholarship. Please speak to the Accredited Site directly.


Performance Pathway Officer: Sarah Marjoram -

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