New-look Diploma in Sporting Excellence puts elite academy players front and centre

Basketball England is revamping its Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) delivery model for the country’s Under-19 elite academy players. 

The programme supports talented basketball players through best-in-class learning and development environments with competition delivered via the Elite Academy Leagues (EABL and WEABL). 

DiSE will now be delivered through DiSE Partnerships, rather than DiSE institutions, which are single entities, ie an FE college or club delivering the DiSE qualification.   

In short, the new partnerships will promote collaboration and will ensure players’ academic and basketball development are put first by embracing several quality standards:  

  • Athlete recruitment  
  • Educational partnership  
  • Quality leadership, coaching and athlete support  
  • Facilities and equipment  
  • Welfare provision   
  • Club links and competition   
  • Destination support and guidance 

BE Talent Programme and Pathway Manager Sam Messam, said:  

"This is a really exciting time for basketball, particularly within the talent space. Our wish is to tackle inequalities across talent, extend participation and continue to improve player performances at all age groups. 

“By tweaking DiSE, we can improve player performances at all levels of competition and continue our success on the international stage. A fully integrated talent pathway will drive talent development, and that includes ethical recruitment, better equipped coaches and programmes, and high-quality information and guidance.”  

Applications to become a DiSE Partnership 

An expression of interest portal will open from the 1 June 2022 for current DiSE providers to reapply to become a DiSE Partnership. 

BE has been delivering DiSE since 2009, when it was named the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence.  

Through its partnership with the Association of Colleges, the governing body oversees two elite leagues, which are regarded as the premier basketball college competitions in the country. 

The Elite Academy Basketball League and the Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League, known as the EABL and WEABL respectively, feature the country’s top U19 male and female players and support their needs by giving them the opportunity to test their basketball skills during the academic calendar.  

 The EABL comprises of 15 teams, split into two conferences, and the WEABL has 12 teams across two conferences. Both leagues are invitation only and are for colleges who offer DiSE or those working towards becoming a provider.  

This year, the governing body conducted a comprehensive review of the DiSE delivery model, which highlighted the need for greater consideration of the systems, players and innovation that shapes the 16-19-year-old talent and performance pathway.  

DiSE Partnerships will provide DiSE players with the greatest opportunities to compete in other appropriate competitions, eg WBBL, NBL, NBL U18s to complement their participation in the EABL or WEABL.  

Basketball has the power to change lives. The #GameTime campaign will aim to raise awareness of the positive impact that our sport can have on people no matter who they are or where they are from. 

Basketball England aims to engage one million people in basketball via the Commonwealth Games 2022, 3x3 and more.  

Whether you want to: 

  • Support Team England 
  • #GetInvolved as a player, coach, official, volunteer or fan 
  • Or improve your local court with #ProjectSwish 

...regardless of age, gender or background, across every part of the basketball family, it's #GameTime!