A ROTARIAN from Basingstoke has been given an honorary doctorate by the United Nations for his work to improve international relations.

Ayotunde Adelakun, known better as Tunde, was awarded the honorary doctorate in International Relations by the United Nations Educational Foundation at the ceremony held in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Tunde was recognised for his numerous works over the years, using sports, to bring communities together.

SEE ALSO: Here's how you can get involved with Basingstoke Rotary's first football festival

Basingstoke Gazette: Dr Tunde Adelakun with Prof Andy Bean, his wife Nancy, and vice chancellor Dr William NkeaDr Tunde Adelakun with Prof Andy Bean, his wife Nancy, and vice chancellor Dr William Nkea (Image: 'Tunde Adelakun)

President of the Rotary Club of Basingstoke and former international sports journalist, Tunde is known for his passion for football, having spent six years as assistant head coach of the Nigerian national team, when they appeared at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and took the bronze medal in the African Cup of Nations.

A fan of Chelsea Football Club, Tunde's belief is that the power of sports can be used in a positive way to impact the lives of members of the community.

He said: "It was such an honour to receive the doctorate award. It came as a pleasant surprise that the work I do, the passion and energy I put into efforts at touching the lives of people was recognised at such a global level.

"Surely it serves as inspiration for me to continue and do even more. The doctorate means I have to devote more of my time to lecturing, speaking more to people, travelling up to United Nations events to address people in governance on conflict resolution and other relational matters. So more pressure, but I’m up for it.

"It’s great though. Being addressed as Dr Tunde will surely take some getting used to but in a warm and pleasing way."

Speaking about the reason he was awarded the doctorate, Dr Tunde said: "Was in recognition of my numerous works over the years in pulling international communities together using the power of sports, which is my major calling."

Tunde has used sports in many community projects and has worked hard to bring one such project to Basingstoke later this year.

The upcoming Rotary Family Football Festival will be held at the Winklebury Sports Complex, the current home of Basingstoke Town Football Club on Saturday, July 6, between 11am and 5pm.

Open to all ages, from children to grandparents, organisers are planning to put on a whole host of activities, from five-a-side to walking football, and a crossbar challenge and there will even be a raffle, complete with some top prizes.

Tunde said he plans to "bring the whole Basingstoke community together with the power of football".