Press release

New fund to help more University athletes meet their goals

Published on 18 February 2019

The starting gun has been fired on a new initiative to help more University of Dundee athletes go for glory

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The Sports Union Alumni Fund has been launched with the aim of purchasing new equipment that will improve performance and increase participation and accessibility among students.

The project gives Dundee graduates, members of the public, and businesses the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable development of University sports clubs to help fulfil the athletic ambitions of every student.

Mark Beaumont, University Rector and ultra-endurance cyclist, said that he fully supported the new fund, saying, “As a student I was hugely involved in running the Sports Union, so know first-hand how transformative sports can be to students’ lives and their overall university experience.

“There is no better way for graduates to give back to their alma mater than to give current students greater access to sports and personal wellbeing.  Who knows, you could be helping fund an Olympian of the future or an inspirational leader in healthcare.”

The University has a rich sporting heritage and has produced celebrated athletes including legendary Northern Ireland and Tottenham Hotspur footballer Danny Blanchflower, Olympic runner Eilish McColgan, Paralympian Hannah Dines, and several international rugby players.

At present the Sports Union hosts more than 40 clubs, with the new fund having been created to help teams pursue innovative projects and support their development.

A panel overseeing the new fund has already identified projects that could benefit from more funding, including new mats for the judo team, and temporary pitch markings that would allow the lacrosse team to train year round.

Donors can specify an amount they wish to contribute to the fund or select from Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum packages, ranging in price from £350 to £5,000.

Sports Union President Jacob McConkey said, “Some of my fondest memories at University involve the friends that I met through playing sport.

“I hope that the development of the Sports Union Alumni Fund will decrease the financial strain on our sports clubs and their members, increase participation and help develop multiple aspects of sport at the University.”

Making the first donation to the fund was Royal Navy Lieutenant Andy Smart, who was Sports Union President in 2012 and had the initial idea for the fund.  Contributing £1,000, he said that his athletic experience at University had impacted greatly upon his career.

“The most rewarding part of my time at the University of Dundee was my involvement with the Canoe Club,” he said.

“The skills I developed through sport still benefit me today in the Royal Navy and I hope that the development of the Sports Union Alumni Fund will mean others can enjoy the same experiences that I did.”


Press Office, University of Dundee