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Sport In Action founder Clement Chileshe awarded Honorary Degree

Friday 23 June 2017

On Wednesday 21st of June, Clement Chileshe walked across the stage of Younger Hall to collect an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws for his outstanding contribution to sport and youth development in Zambia. Clement is the Director of the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka and the Vice-Board Chairperson of the Special Olympics, Zambia. He is also the Founder and President of Sport in Action, a non-government organisation providing sporting opportunities to underprivileged members of the Zambian community. Sport In Action was the first Zambian sports NGO and since its founding in 1998 has grown tremendously to provide sport development programmes across 14 districts, with an estimated 160,000 children having benefitted from their facilities and projects.

Clement Graduation 1 

Following the laureation address given by Professor Verity Brown, Clement showed his appreciation for the award saying ‘Thank you very much for this great honour that the wonderful staff of St Andrews have given me. The love has been wonderful.’

It is Clement and his colleagues at Sport In Action who make our international volunteering programme, Volunteer Zambia, possible and is something that the University is extremely proud be involved with. The programme sends students from the seven Wallace Group universities out to Zambia each summer to volunteer with Sport in Action, helping deliver classes and sport specific sessions to underprivileged children in different communities and compounds in Lusaka.

Addressing his fellow graduates during the ceremony, Clement touched on his own struggled upbringing and advised all those graduating to "go out and be brave at the attempt of reaching your goals.”

Clement Graduation 2 

Following the ceremony on Wednesday, Clement and his colleague George Kakomwe delivered a presentation to staff, friends and family of St Andrews, giving them an insight into the impact of the Volunteer Zambia programme. Clement expressed great gratitude towards the various initiatives that take place as part of the programme: ‘Do not underestimate what you send to us – it goes a long way. We are very, very thankful.

Clement explained: ‘when St Andrews joined we came to life’, but we believe the benefits of the programme are mutual. It has enriched our volunteering programme, given our students a once in a lifetime opportunity and the chance to add value to their University education. David Ross, Director of Rugby commented on the positive effects this project has on our students: ‘They are coming back from Zambia better people, better leaders and better coaches.’

The team at Saints Sports are honoured to have been able to host Clement and George during their first visit to Scotland. Director of Sport and Exercise, Stephen Stewart explained: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to have Clement and George here with us in St Andrews and for Clement to be receiving an honorary degree. The work they have done through Sport In Action and the opportunities they provide children both in Zambia and across the Wallace Group Universities is remarkable. The award is well and truly deserved.

From fish and chips in Crail to hiking in Pitlochry, they experienced everything that this part of the world has to offer. After an action-packed week, they will now return to Zambia to continue constantly improving the lives of Zambian children through sport. 

Looking to the future, Saints Sport hopes to widen the scope of its involvement with Sport In Action by working closely with staff to improve business development. Saints Sports would like to thank everyone involved with Sport In Action and Volunteer Zambia and we are very excited to see our relationship with Sport in Action and the community of Zambia flourish in the future. 

Posted under: General