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 Saints Netball 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.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the International Volunteering programmes in 2020 were put on hold.  This meant the eight Saints Netballers who were due to spend time in South Africa and Zambia will now look to join the programmes in 2021 where possible.  We remain committed to using sport to make a difference to young people’s lives in Africa.  More than ever, we look forward to supporting our students to fulfill their ambitions through fundraising and training opportunities in the lead up to the 2021 placements.  

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 girls from Saints Netball team up with members from other sports clubs at the University.

In May 2019 Saints Netball’s Charlotte Corbett traveled to Cape Town to take part in this project.  Her experience was extremely profound, here Charlotte explains more:

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go and volunteer in South Africa. I can’t even put into words how amazing the whole experience was for me.

To see children live in extreme poverty, but show and share so much happiness is something I will never forget.

I feel so privileged to have met and coached such amazing children who have so much potential.

Although I was only coaching netball for 5 weeks, it was incredible to see how much the sport impacted the children’s’ lives and how much happiness it brought to them.

The whole trip was truly life changing and I can’t wait to continue volunteering and helping to make a difference!

Charlotte Corbett


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.

In Summer 2019 Saints Netball’s Eleanor Fitgerald was apart of the team who headed out to coach in Zambia.  Here is an insight into her trip:

I taught netball in Lusaka at three different placement sites to girls of varying ages and abilities.

At some of the sites I was working very much at a grassroots level, trying to encourage further participation in netball and to reach out to as many girls within the community as possible, including those who were not in education. At other sites I was coaching slightly older and more advanced players where my focus was in supporting their athletic development, and ensuring that they were aware of the paths which they could take to progress further in their netball careers.

A key focus of the programme was to mentor Zambian peer leaders: sharing our experiences and knowledge of our sport to try and continue the development and subsequent quality of coaching, in order to make a long lasting impact. Our Zambian peer leaders were incredible in how they used sport as a platform to educate girls on issues such as early marriage, AIDS and HIV, and I feel so fortunate to be lucky enough to work alongside them.

The programme is amazing in how it uses netball to empower the girls of Zambia; instilling self-worth and confidence in them, and helping them to recognise their own strength, both as netball players and as women. These invaluable qualities are things that they can then take forward with them for the rest of their lives, as they grow up in such a challenging environment.
It was such an incredible experience and I feel so lucky to have had the privilege to coach such special, amazing and strong girls. Their determination to play, despite all of the challenges which they face daily as females, was so inspiring and I can’t wait to see what extraordinary, strong women that they all grow into.

I can’t wait to return to Zambia soon and am so grateful to have been given this special opportunity.

Eleanor Fitzgerald