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BC Scholarship Fund honoring Doug and Diane Clement exceeds $250,000

The fund was kept secret from the Clements until a reception when they gathered with family to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary

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A grant fund recognizing BC sports builders Doug and Diane Clement has far surpassed its original goal and now surpasses $250,000.

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After the Clements, now in their late 80s, stepped down from their leadership roles at the Achilles Track and Field Society, a committee worked on a plan to recognize their contributions and create a lasting family legacy.

People associated with Achilles and who know the sports power couple were invited to make a contribution to the Doug and Diane Clement Scholarship Fund.

Scholarships are awarded to university and college students who demonstrate athletic excellence coupled with a record of community service, hallmarks of Clements’ life’s work.

“Wow, that’s kind of a dream,” said Doug Clement at a reception Monday night to announce the scholarship. “To have something that has legs that will stand for a long, long time and be passed down through our own family with our name is a dream.”

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Doug said there’s nothing more important than “creating a situation where everyone can thrive.”

Diane was on the verge of tears in the presence of her family as she discussed what a surprise the scholarship announcement was.

“It’s all about family and friends. You all contributed so much to this. Giving that back is what it’s all about.”

Volunteers, athletes, doctors, colleagues, organizations and close friends were invited to donate to what is known as Founders Club 57, named for the number of years Clements has served the athletic community with Achilles.

The original goal was to raise $100,000, which quickly grew to $180,000 through donations from 90 people and 14 organizations. Then a donor made a multi-year commitment that brought the total to $255,000.

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“The response from invited donors has been overwhelmingly positive and generous, reflecting the incredible impact Doug and Diane have had on so many people from many walks of life,” said Marek Jedrzejek, Achilles Chairman.

“It’s been amazing what these people have done for so many of us and the entire athletics family of the world,” said Olympian and collaborator Lynn Kanuka. “It chokes me to think of what a legacy we can create on behalf of these wonderful people.

“They are high profile people in our community but at the same time they are so humble. They don’t want awards, even though they deserve them. Those of us associated with Doug and Diane felt that we would really appreciate continuing to support our sport and I am so proud that we have found a way to do so.”

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All of this was kept secret from the Clements until a reception on Monday night, when they gathered with family to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Doug and Diane, both Olympic runners in the 1950s, founded the Achilles Society, which still organizes the Harry Jerome Track Meets, co-founded the Vancouver Sun Run 10K in 1985 and launched the Rainforest Trail Run in Burnaby in 2019, which promotes exercise and healthy living promotes in indigenous communities.

They have both been awarded the Order of Canada and are inducted into several sports Halls of Fame. Doug Clement was a physician, professor at the University of BC and trainer who had a major impact on sports medicine. Diane was a trainer and the first President of Athletics Canada, as well as a chef who published eight best-selling cookbooks.

Donations to the scholarship fund can be made at vancouverfoundation.ca/donate.


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