International Volunteering

Our international volunteering projects in Africa offer students a wonderful opportunity to add value to their university education, enhance their global awareness and develop their leadership, teaching and coaching skills.

Each year, student coaches from the Football Club travel to Zambia and South Africa as part of the University’s international volunteer programmes.

Both projects present students with an incredible opportunity to experience African culture first hand, with our volunteer coaches spending four to eight weeks helping deliver PE sessions, sport specific coaching and classroom based sessions in various schools and compounds.

More information can be found online by visiting the Volunteering & Coaching Academy pages of the Saints Sport website. To register your interest in volunteering on either of our volunteering projects please contact Claire Scott (Sports Development Manager):


Volunteer South Africa is a project unique to St Andrews, and sees our footballers team up with members from other sports clubs at the University.

This past Summer I was lucky enough to join other Saints Sport athletes in a volunteer coaching trip to the Rainbow Nation. Our volunteering, however, began long before we set foot on the African continent. Almost immediately after we were selected for the trip, we began to obtain coaching qualifications as well as certifications in first aid and child protection. We then used this expertise to coach and mentor young footballers around St Andrews through the Junior Saints and Floodlit Football programmes among others.  This was instrumental in our preparation for South Africa. When we arrived in at Rietenbosch Primary, the school with which we are partnered, we felt ready for anything.

I spent the bulk of my time training a team of grade seven boys. This training was in preparation for a district wide sports tournament which we hosted in our last week in South Africa. This tournament is held annually in commemoration of the Youth Insurrection against the apartheid regime in 1976.

I owe so much to this trip for exposing me not only to coaching, but to an entirely new part of the world which I would have never imagined I would go to. I would recommend Volunteer South Africa to anyone with an interest in travel, coaching, and football because this trip reminded me why I love the sport to begin with and I am sure it would do the same for you.

Luke Simboli


The Zambian volunteering initiative has been running for over ten years and is run in partnership with six other UK institutions as part of the Wallace Group.

I spent this past summer volunteering for 2 months in Zambia through the University’s Volunteer and Coaching Academy as part for the Volunteer Zambia project.

Every morning I coached youth development football in a community called Kamwala in Zambia’s capital Lusaka. It was an extremely humbling, yet rewarding experience and I would highly recommend applying for the programme if you are interested in developing communities through sport and education.

I have been fortunate enough to have had a wide variety of experiences in vastly diverse cultures, yet my time in Zambia continued to surprise me day in and day out.   

Although I have been coaching youth football for 5 years, coaching in a community where a field, football boots and even a ball were commodities helped me grow both as a coach as well as a person. It reminded me to never take anything for granted and to cherish the smaller things in life.

Izzy Reeves