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The Nottingham Academy Wildcats, which is part of the Nottingham Wildcats Community Basketball and Sports Trust has recently received notification it has been accepted by Basketball England as one of 13 Diploma in Sports Excellence Academies across England. The programme, which is awarded on a three-year cycle, will begin in September 2023 and run until August 2026.

DiSE Partnerships are elite academy environments supported by multiple partners (e.g. university, school, college, basketball club etc.) to deliver the DiSE qualification.

The DiSE qualification forms part of BE’s England Development Programme (EDP) Framework, which is made up of four elements: the DiSE Qualification, a full-time programme of learning (i.e., A-Levels or BTEC study), Level 2 coach/official award, and participation in the EABL or WEABL.

The Wildcats Academy received single-status recognition for the female side of the programme. They will continue to compete in the WEABL, now as a DiSE partner. The male counterpart will continue to compete in the CBL and Programme Director, Siobhán Prior, will work alongside the Nottingham Wildcats Trust to put in a strategic plan to elevate the men’s programme before the next DiSE bid cycle. The Trust’s goal for the Academy programme is to receive dual status, with both female and male programmes competing at the highest possible level.  

Basketball England’s Talent Pathway and Programme Manager, Sam Messam said: “The 13 DiSE Partnerships are dedicated talent environments with the highest level of athlete support and development on offer, to stretch and challenge elite basketball players towards growth and success, both as a basketball player and student.

“Furthermore, the DiSE qualification is a unique opportunity for youth basketball players aged 16-19 years old to continue to advance their knowledge and understanding of the game, compete at the highest level of youth basketball in England, and work towards their career aspirations.

“These partnerships have demonstrated their knowledge and expertise in talent development, and illustrate the provision of high-quality facilities, equipment, and staff in support of basketball and athlete development and have the complete confidence of Basketball England.”

The Nottingham Academy Wildcats’ Director, Siobhán Prior, commented on the successful application ‘The Trust has been in partnership with Nottingham Academy for nearly 5 years. From Day 1, one of our strategic aims was to gain DiSE status. I am very pleased that we have managed to achieve single status and equally motivated to continue our work to gain dual status next time round. We have been in a fortunate position in our relationship with Nottingham Academy School. The school and its trust, the Greenwood Trust, have been extremely supportive for a number of years, as have a number of other stakeholders, and I am sincerely grateful for all their support. I would like to extend a special thanks to ‘Braincup Media’ who produced the video part of our application, along with all our student-athletes and Nottingham Academy staff who have worked tirelessly to make the programme a success’.

If you would like to view the application video that went alongside our written tender, click on the following link.

Keep an eye on our channels for further exciting news and opportunities in our Academy Wildcats programme!

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