British Fencing Athlete Development Programme

Message to British Fencing registered coaches

Diploma in Sporting Excellence Information

Please can you pass this message on to any suitable fencers you coach or advise, to tell them about an opportunity they may have to become part of a government-funded training programme, the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE). This is part of British Fencing’s Athlete Development Programme (ADP) and leads to a qualification recognised by UCAS for University admission.
It is suitable for ambitious fencers, normally those going into school year 12 (GCSEs in 2020). Please note places are limited and priority will go to fencers already engaged with the ADP.

Please see some details below, more on the British Fencing web site at, or contact Neil Brown, 07590 046892

Note: Fencers need to be aged 16, 17 or 18 and have an address in England to apply. See more criteria below.

What is the Diploma in Sporting Excellence?

It is a Level 3 qualification designed for fencers who have the realistic potential to achieve excellence and are seeking to perform at the highest level. The programme will cover all areas of training, will help you to develop as an athlete and fencer, and gain a UCAS-recognised qualification on completion. There are currently 88 British fencers enrolled in this programme.

The Diploma is a notionally 2-year programme for fencers aged 16-18 on the 1st September 2020. They can be studying other academic qualifications at a school or college of further education. Fencers must have completed their GSCE level qualifications and cannot combine this with University education or other Level 4 qualification. So normally fencers will start at the beginning of year 12.

All 16-18 year olds who have completed their GCSE year and are ranked in the top 40 (for their age on any national ranking list) are eligible to apply. Obviously the ranking list cannot change at the moment so fencers who could be top 40 if there were events should apply and explain this on the form.

Programme Information

The DiSE programme reflects the broad range of skills, knowledge and performance required by elite level sports people. It is designed to measure the athlete’s ability to plan, apply and evaluate their development in the technical, tactical, physical and mental aspects of their sport. It also addresses wider issues such as lifestyle, career development, communication, nutrition, and health and safety.

The DiSE programme currently runs in the following other sports: Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Equestrian, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Modern Pentathlon, Motor Sports, Netball, Rowing, Tennis, Volleyball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Wheelchair Basketball. There are 1550 places available on the programme across these sports.

DiSE is designed to directly measure the athlete’s ability to apply themselves to “professional” development, covering:-
1) Technical Skills
2) Tactical Awareness
3) Physical Capabilities
4) Mental Skills
5) Lifestyle Organisation
6) Career Planning
7) Communication and Working with Others,
8) Health & Safety
9) Nutrition
10) Culture, Values, and Behaviours

British Fencing Programme

DiSE is run as part of the Athlete Development Programme. The majority of it will be delivered through 20-25 contact days at weekends or in school holidays. There will also be online delivery and assessment.

The programme will begin in October 2020 and run for 18-months, finishing in February 2022.

  • Available to fencers resident in England only, we cannot accept applicants who do not have an address in England
  • Fencers must be enrolled on a state-funded educational programme (there are some exceptions to this, for those on scholarships, please contact us for more information).
  • Fencers must be aged 16, 17, or 18 on the 1st September in the academic year (for September 2020 intake born between 2/9/2001 & 1/9/2004)
  • Fencers should have completed their GCSE year before starting
  • Applicants must be in the top 40 in Britain at their age group (or be of at least that standard as we are unable to compete at the moment).

Fencers will need to commit to attending training days and ADP activities (approx. 20-25 days a year), to maintaining a portfolio of their learning and training activity, and to completing the course

How to register?

You can find more information and an application form on the British Fencing web site at

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Tariff

These qualifications are on the UCAS Tariff. Fencers who successfully complete the Diploma in Sporting Excellence will get the following qualification):-
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence

On the UCAS tariff calculator at this diploma is worth 64 points towards University application.

Please can you pass this message on to any suitable fencers you coach or advise and encourage them to apply.