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Doug and Diane Clement scholarship fund honours B.C. power couple

Scholarship fund creates a legacy for extraordinary couple

Olympians, race directors, coaches, and founders of the Vancouver Sun Run are only a few of the titles Doug and Diane Clementhold. A legendary couple in track and field, the Clements have been honoured with a scholarship fund created in their name.

Doug and Diane Clement are both former track and field stars who competed (and met) at the Olympics in the 1950s. In 1964 they created the Achilles Track and Field Society, an organization intended to inspire B.C. and Canadian athletes to compete at a high level. Achilles hosts an international yearly track and field event, the Harry Jerome Track Classic, in Vancouver. When the Clements decided to step down from their leadership roles, the Achilles organization was determined to find a way to pay tribute to their work.

Not only were both of the Clements extraordinary athletes and coaches, but they have been named to the Order of Canada, are both inductees in the B.C. Hall of Fame, and are known as community leaders of active living.

Achilles has dedicated the scholarship to help university and college students who “demonstrate excellence in athletics coupled with a record of community service and/or study in a discipline that contributes to fitness and healthy living.” The Clements’ life’s work embodies these attributes.

Individual donors, connected to the couple through work and sport, raised the scholarship fund. People familiar with the Clements were invited to become part of the “Founders Club 57” recognizing Doug and Diane’s 57 years of service with Achilles. The fund had an initial goal of 100,000 and far exceeds that at a total of $250,000. The scholarship was kept a secret and unveiled at a reception at the end of May.

Doug spoke of the fund being a “dream” at the reception. “Having something that has legs that are going to stand for a long, long time and sort of be passed on through our own family with our name attached to it, it’s a dream,” he continued. Diane added: “To give back, that’s what it’s all about.”