University of St Andrews: Enhancing the university culture and experience through sport

University of St Andrews: Enhancing the university culture and experience through sport


Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world, the University of St Andrews is a hub for research and teaching of the highest quality, encouraging the pursuit of knowledge for the common good. With some of the best sports facilities in the country, the University continues to make sport central to the student experience, priding themselves on their students’ ability to excel both in their academic and sporting endeavours. With the earliest record of student sport dating back to the 17th century, the sporting experience and Athletic Union at St Andrews is now managed under the banner of ‘Saints Sport’. Through this all-inclusive program the university is able to encourage, drive and support students in their sporting pursuits, whilst also offering opportunities for the local community and promoting physical activity across the region.


Whether students compete at national or international level, play socially or just want to get fit, Saints Sport offers something for all with over 50 sports club. With well over half of students involved in Saints Sport in some way, St Andrews is one of the leading institutions in the UK for participation in sport and physical activity. The vast majority of the clubs are student led, fostering a great sense of belonging and allowing students to rapidly integrate into the community and make life-long friendships. In accordance with the Saints values, inclusivity takes centre stage in all Saints Sport endeavours; most recently, with the establishment of Saints Sport for All, an advisory group of student representatives covering discourses of disability, sexuality, gender, race, and academic background.


In a university environment where access to any and all sports is at your doorstep, and with the support of such a tight-knit community, the opportunities to do something truly remarkable are more than ever in reach. From the strong heartfelt legacy behind the Scottish Varsity rugby Match played at the BT Murrayfield stadium every year between Scotland’s two oldest universities, to students’ individual pursuits and expedition, the lived sport experience at the University is nothing short of exciting. When in 2011, 22-year-old St Andrews student became the youngest Scot to complete the Seven Summit Challenge by conquering Mount Everest, supported by the likes of Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the incredible triumph was celebrated by the entire community. Another testament to the university and the students’ ambition marked Saints history in 2019, when two students embarked on a 10,000km cycling expedition through Africa. Over eight months they made their way from Cairo to Cape Town and distributed more than 1000 Arclight medical devices, developed by St Andrews based School of Medicine staff, to health care workers in the region - proving once more that this environment and sporting culture truly fosters excellence in all its guises.


A community of talented athletes, passionate students, and inspiring young people, all sharing the pride of wearing the colours of their university. Excellence, experience and engagement are the three defining features of Saints Sport, and they are reflected in the mission of ‘creating Saints for life’, where the aim is to “encourage and support everyone at every level no matter of ability or sporting aspirations, enabling them to harness their full potential and be the best they can be.” All 52 sports clubs at the University wear Macron-designed and produced kits. With a high-quality stock range and quick turn-around times on orders through Macron Store Dundee, the partnership perfectly complements the university program. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of this movement and to see how sport can truly make a difference to the university culture and enhance this educational path.