Sport at St Andrews
Sport plays a significant part in student life at St Andrews and enhances the unique experience of studying at Scotland’s first university.
Whether you compete at national or international level, play socially or want to get fit, there are more than 50 sports clubs and sector-leading facilities waiting for you.
Saints Sport is the overarching title and brand that encompasses all of the facilities, services and activities of the University of St Andrews sports department, including the autonomous Athletic Union, our teams, clubs, athletes and staff.
The Saints Experience
Whether it is reaching the pinnacle of your sporting career, staying fit and healthy throughout your studies, having fun playing the sport you love or trying a sport for the very first time, Saints Sport provides opportunities to ensure that every student makes the most of their time at St Andrews.
Over half of the student body are involved with Saints Sport in some way, making St Andrews one of the leading institutions in the UK for participation in sport and physical activity.
Our Vision – the Saints Experience
To deliver an excellent Saints Sport programme that enables all students to combine a world-leading academic education with a truly unique and rewarding sporting experience, supporting them to develop and realise their potential as they strive ever to excel.
Run by students, for students, the Athletic Union (AU) is the student organisation for the support and development of sports clubs at the University. The AU is run by an Executive Committee (Exec) and led by an elected Athletic Union President.
St Andrews students have access to top-class sports facilities including a 120-station gym, a dedicated strength and conditioning suite for performance athletes, a technical climbing wall, all-weather pitches, top quality grass pitches, a four-court indoor tennis centre, and an eight-court indoor sports arena.
Health and fitness
The Saints Fitness programme offers a full range of services to all our students including fitness consultations, personal training, and Strength and Conditioning support.
Exercise Class Programme
Our varied exercise class programme runs all-year- round and is tailored to suit all levels and abilities. With over 40 classes per week including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, HIIT and Spin, the programme has been designed to target different levels of intensity and impact training.
Each class is categorised, making it easy to select the right session to best fit your current level of fitness and help you reach your own goals. Our instructors are here to help you get the most out of your workout, whilst helping you to improve your overall fitness.
For those with specific fitness goals or regular gym users looking to refresh their exercise routine, personal training offers a motivating, challenging and fun alternative for your workout.
Our team of professional trainers are highly qualified and have many years of experience delivering specialist exercise services, bespoke to the individual client. The team can tailor an exercise plan to meet your fitness goals or offer greater support over a longer time period via our one-to-one block sessions.
Our team of full-time Sports Assistants are here to provide you with the very best experience during your visit to the gym and can offer support and guidance in relation to safe and effective practice.
To get you started, new members are offered a gym induction, which takes you through the basics of how to use the various pieces of equipment in the main gym. Our level 2 gym Instructors are also happy to discuss workouts and basic exercises with you.
Are you looking for adventure, competition, excitement, exercise, exhilaration, exploration, fitness, fun, physical activity, team spirit and the ultimate St Andrews student experience? Look no further.
Sports clubs are an integral part of the unique student experience and form a cornerstone of the Saints Sport programme. All clubs are student led and run, with many of our club coaches and match officials coming from within the student body.
There are over 50 sports clubs at St Andrews, offering activities for all levels of ability or aspiration, whether that is competitive or recreational. Over 100 teams compete annually in British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), Scottish Student Sport (SSS), local and national leagues and cup competitions, with many more students competing on an individual level.
Because St Andrews is a small university, by joining a sports club, students are quickly integrated into the student community providing them with a sense of belonging and the opportunity to foster some of their closest friendships.
Most of our clubs offer recreational activities, giving students an amazing opportunity to regularly experience the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and travel further afield across the UK and around the world.
How to get involved
The annual Sports Fayre takes place during Orientation Week and gathers all the clubs in one place at Saints Sport.
This offers the perfect chance to discover a new sport or pick-up one you’ve always wanted to try. Throughout the week, our clubs run ‘Give it a Go’ sessions, giving you the opportunity to try a sport for the very first time.
Athletics and Cross Country
Clay Pigeon Shooting
Mixed Martial Arts
Trampoline and Gymnastics
Triathlon and Road Cycling
The Performance Sport programme aims to attract and support the very best athletes at St Andrews who aspire to gain a world-class education while competing at an elite sporting level.
The University recognises a number of teams as part of the performance programme, each benefiting from increased support and a dedicated sport-specific Director or Performance Coach. This support includes sport science interventions such as Strength and Conditioning and performance analysis, increased funding and greater access to training facilities.
Many of our top teams compete at BUCS Premier League level and most in the top tier within Scotland. Support is in place to help increase the amount of teams competing at the highest level of British student sport, with the aim of winning titles. Numerous sports also compete in national competition out with the BUCS/SSS structure to help give our students the most extensive and challenging experience possible.
Sports scholarships and awards
Our sports scholarships and awards have been developed to attract and then financially support exceptional students who wish to continue their sport at a high level whilst furthering their education at St Andrews.
Sports scholarships are available across our performance teams and to exceptional individuals competing at an elite level (usually internationally depending on the sport and nationality). Talented golfers may also apply for the prestigious Arnold Palmer Scholarship or an R&A Bursary.
St Leonard’s Masters Scholarship
St Leonard’s Masters Scholarships are open to national and international applicants for eligible postgraduate (taught) Masters degree programmes. The scheme aims to allow applicants to draw on their professional and life experiences to demonstrate resilience, resourcefulness, and commitment. We welcome applications from talented student athletes from around the world who can add value to our programmes whilst representing St Andrews, and who can demonstrate non-academic excellence and/or leadership qualities in their chosen sport.
Rather than the regular commitment required for training and competing, our recreational programme offers frequent, informal drop-in sessions where the emphasis is on having fun and participation. Sessions are open to all students and provide a great way to stay active, meet new people and make friends.
All our clubs offer recreational activities so students can benefit from the fitness and social aspects of their sport without needing to compete.
If you want the continuity of playing with a regular team but in a more informal environment, Saints Sport runs a variety of seasonal leagues and competitions, which are open to all. You don’t have to be a member of a club or team – just come along or gather a group of friends and sign-up.
St Andrews is internationally renowned as the Home of Golf and there is no better place to learn and play the game than in St Andrews where it all began over 450 years ago. In partnership with the St Andrews Links Trust and the St Andrews Links Golf Academy, Saints Sport offers golf lessons to students, staff and the community during Semester time.
The University Tennis Centre offers lessons across all ability levels and age groups, individually or as part of a group.
The indoor wall at the University of St Andrews offers climbing suitable for beginners through to expert and our instructor led classes can help you set goals and progress in this exciting activity.
The Saints Volunteer programme offers students many opportunities to add value to their University education, enhance their global awareness, develop their leadership skills and improve their teaching and coaching abilities.
In all our projects we use sport, leadership and education as a tool to empower and enrich communities and make a difference to the lives of young people, including nurturing a culture of volunteering in our own students.
Leadership, coaching and officiating
Saints Sport provides many opportunities for students to get involved with coaching, officiating and volunteering within sport. Grants are available to help volunteers achieve additional training and qualifications whilst at St Andrews, enabling them to support the scale and variety of activity offered by our clubs, deliver extracurricular sporting activity to local children, and participate in international volunteering projects in Africa.
We seek to empower students to take responsibility for delivering large elements of the overall student sport experience and support a team of over 600 volunteers who deliver student sport activity within their clubs for more than 4,500 students throughout the academic term.
Social responsibility is a long-standing and hugely important part of the Saints Sport culture. With such a close integration of the University and the town of St Andrews we are able to provide many opportunities for our students to get involved in projects in the local area, including coaching at after school clubs, delivering regular taster sessions, and running sport specific training sessions.
The University’s international volunteering programmes in Africa have been running for over 10 years and focus on sport for development and sports development initiatives in partnership with other leading UK and South African universities and key local stakeholders.
Our programmes are driven by local need and delivered in partnership with local agencies, governing bodies and NGOs, vital to ensure the activities are sustainable and that any new developments not only build upon existing initiatives, but are shaped by local stakeholders.