SSH Young Leaders Learn Valuable Lessons from Global Mentors

Young Leaders Mentoring Program

It has been a year since SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY launched its Young Leaders Mentoring Program during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Since that time, our four young leaders from Israel, South Sudan, Canada and the Philippines have thrived under the mentorship of four distinguished global leaders. As well, we are set to welcome 4 new young leaders from South Africa, Cameroon, Afghanistan and Argentina who will embark on a similar mentoring journey.

Last month, two of our young leaders had the opportunity to travel to visit their mentors and witness firsthand what it takes to become a values-driven role model, guided by our Six Principles-COMPASSION, RESPECT, LOVE, ENLIGHTENMENT, BALANCE AND JOY.

We are delighted to share the stories of their transformative journeys:

Young Leader Chantal Sathi

CHANTAL, a Canadian of Sri Lankan heritage, is a kick boxer, personal trainer and community youth leader. She has a degree in Kinesiology, and a Masters in Theology in Urban and International Development. Chantal aspires to one day lead an international sport organization, and seeks to inspire people to see sport as a training ground for the body, mind and soul.

Chantal’s Mentor, RENATA SIMRIL, is the President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation, a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games. The Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education and advocates for the important role sports participation plays in positive youth development. The Foundation’s fierce leader, coined the term, Play Equity, to describe a national crisis hiding in plain sight, that not all youth have equal access to sport and structured play. She is regularly listed as one of the most influential leaders in the civic realm and sports industry.

Young Leader John Paul Masubay

JOHN PAUL (JP) is a 23 year old football player, coach, and youth leader from Tacloban, Philippines. Five years ago, John Paul’s community, including his family’s home, was completely wiped-out by Typhoon Haiyan. Sport brought hope to JP and allowed him to continue to dream. Now, he is a football coach and mentor to other children in his community. He hopes to use his influence as a football coach to encourage communities to be involved in utilizing football as a positive tool for children and youth development. He says he owes his inspiration and drive to football, and his desire to replicate the good of sport off the playing field, including raising awareness of social issues such as gender inequality, children’s rights and education, among others.

JP’s Mentor, Mr. VICTOR MONTAGLIANI, is the President of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) and a FIFA Vice President. As part of his ONE Concacaf Vision, Montagliani’s aim is to unite the 41 Member Associations of the Confederation through football, while raising the quality of the sport and improving access to the game across every member nation. On his passion for the game, Victor states: “Football is my life, I have spent my entire life with a football at my feet, in my mind, and in my heart. I am humbled to serve Concacaf while leading the evolution of the region’s game.”

Chantal’s Journey:
Inspired to Strive for Excellence in all Areas of Life

Invited by her Mentor, Renata Simril, Chantal travelled to Los Angeles for a unique, three-day opportunity to learn and grow.

“Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have undergone this experience thanks to the generosity of the LA84 Foundation. My task was to conduct an organizational analysis of the LA84 Foundation and its LA84 Play Equity Fund’s mandate, while observing how they foster a culture of giving. Ms. Simril gave me a chance to interview the LA84 Executive Team and understand their roles and responsibilities. I also received a private tour of their unique archives containing Olympic medals, posters, and torches which are a part of the Olympic Games history.

The LA84 Foundation believes that play is a fundamental human right for kids and that all deserve equal access. With 30 years of on-the- ground experience, the Foundation funds, supports and advances youth sports programs and are advocates who work non-stop to guarantee that sports keep playing a positive role in the lives of American youth, driving change one kid at a time. The aim of this foundation is to level the playing field so that sport is accessible to all children in the USA.

On my final day, I made a presentation to the LA84 Executive Team outlining my observations and learnings. This experience will forever remain a major contributor to my future success because it challenged me to think critically.

I am privileged to have journeyed with Renata as part of the Young Leaders Mentoring Program since October 2018, and I must say, this experience is beyond life-changing! She challenges me to think outside the box and to strive for excellence in all areas of life. As an SSH Young Leader, I believe that having a mentor is one of the greatest gifts a young adult can have because mentors bestow upon us the wisdom they gain throughout their lives. Our mentors help us become the best version of ourselves by embracing the six principles. I look forward to the day I can do the same for someone else.”

Chantal & Renata with LA84 Foundation Representatives

John Paul’s Journey:
“The Book with the Most Stories Should be Your Passport”

Invited by his Mentor, Victor Montagliani, JP made the 21-hour journey from Tacloban, Philippines to Chicago, IL to meet with Victor and attend the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup final, the confederation’s national football championship that celebrates the region’s culture and crowns the best team from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

“I am privileged to have a passport and have it stamped so many times just within the first year of acquiring it. Every stamp tells a different story and a chapter of my life. One of my most memorable stamp is when I flew to Chicago to visit my mentor, Victor Montagliani. As a Filipino, it is hard to get a

US visa, but with the help of Concacaf’s team, I secured an appointment and the only thing that I needed to do was to nail the interview. Luckily everything went well including my 21-hour flight.

When I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by the Concacaf staff. The first night, I was invited to the Gold Cup Gala Dinner at the Shedd Aquarium, which was opened by a speech from Victor who quoted author Leonard I. Sweet, referring to the ONE Concacaf spirit: “The future is not something we enter but it’s something we create.” I was motivated by his speech and have decided that this will be my motto. Because of this, I am always thinking of how I can create the future that I want. The next day, I had breakfast with the Concacaf family and was invited to a meeting where I was introduced to the 41 Concacaf Member Association Presidents. They gave me the number 41 jersey to welcome me as part of the Concacaf family. After the meeting, we watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. It was awesome to think that I was in a room together with big names in football just chilling and enjoying the match.

On my final day in Chicago, I woke up to a beautiful view of the sunrise outside my window. I watched from the time the sun peeked by the horizon of Lake Michigan until it turned to bright red – its beauty reminded me of the beauty of this world and the importance of living a life guided by values.”

2019 Concacaf Gold Cup final

Growing the Program

As the inaugural year of our Young Leaders Mentoring Program draws to a close, we celebrate the success we have seen with this program and the growth we have witnessed in the young leaders. We thank all of the young leaders and mentors for their time, their energy and their commitment to embrace the SSH Principles, and to give back to sport and to their communities.

Moving forward, we look forward to getting to know the incredible group of young leaders and global mentors who have been selected to embark on the second year of this life-shaping program.


“The love for our game can be a driving force in shaping younger generations’ future.”