How the DiSE Boxing Programme shaped me: Zoe MacDonald (Gateshead College)

March 4, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


National Female Youth Development champion at Under 69kg, Zoe McDonald, who boxes for Houghton and District, says the DiSE Programme has been hugely beneficial to her ongoing development.

“The England Boxing DiSE Programme at Gateshead College has had a massive impact on me as a boxer. The coaching I have received has helped me progress so much.

“During my time on DiSE, I have become the MTK Box Cup Champion and I have also won my second national title.

“The programme has got me thinking so much more and I have improved technically as a boxer. My club coaches have obviously played a big role in my success, but I also feel that the DiSE input has made a huge contribution to my development and achievements.

“The academic side of the programme has been really interesting and has given me a great insight into becoming an elite athlete. The DiSE coaches have also been really supportive, helping me to overcome personal challenges that I have experienced over the past two years.

“This has helped me so much and has helped keep me on track for completing my full time Sports Science qualification. The UCAS points awarded through the DiSE Programme is now giving me more options when considering a place at university.

“I would highly recommend the DiSE Programme to any boxer who wants to progress and achieve in the sport.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Gateshead College and the DiSE Programme has given me such a positive boxing experience whilst studying in further education.”

More about DiSE

The Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) qualification supports talented and committed young athletes who have realistic potential to be high achievers in their sport.

It is the officially-endorsed boxing education programme supported and recognised by England Boxing.

With a value of 64 UCAS points, it combines boxing and full-time education so participants have the skills, knowledge and competence to pursue sporting excellence alongside education and a future career.

DiSE offers aspiring boxers aged 16 to 19 the chance to train full-time in boxing while also studying full-time to gain qualifications that will benefit them outside of the ring.

You can study DiSE over two years alongside your school or College main study programme and is delivered by highly-qualified and experienced England Boxing coaches.

There are six hubs offering the programme across the country: Gateshead College (North East), the Joe Gallagher Academy, Manchester (North West), University College, Birmingham (Midlands), SGS College, Bristol (South West), The Spotlight Centre (London) and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (South).

To find out more about each one, contact the coach for each one, or apply, click here.