Athletes in Excellence Award

Athletes in Excellence Award

The Athletes in Excellence Award from The Foundation for Global Sports Development recognizes exceptional athletes who uphold the values of good sportsmanship and fair play both on and off the field.

We believe in the importance of honoring athletes who use their achievements in sport as a catalyst to inspire positive change. Our athletes in excellence are acknowledged for their outstanding efforts in community outreach, humanitarianism and youth mentorship. As part of the award, recipients will receive a $10,000 grant, enabling them to pursue their passions and create even more positive change.

We are not currently accepting nominations for this award. Please check back in summer of 2019 for updates. 

Nomination Guidelines:

  • Nominee must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Nominee may be a citizen of any country.
  • Nomination must include the following: Full Name of Athlete, Athlete’s contact info, including email address and phone number, Description of athlete’s community service, Outline of nominee’s athletic achievements, Photo of athlete, Contact information for person submitting the nomination
  • Athletes may not nominate themselves.
  • Individuals OR organizations may submit a nomination.
  • Nominations may be sent to

  • Mo’ath Alkhawaldeh (Marathon Runner) Focuses on using sport for peace building in the Middle East and North Africa. Mo’ath is an Ambassador for the Beirut Marathon Association. Nominated by Andrew Kastor and May El Khalil.

    Bailey Bram (Ice Hockey) Athlete mentor for many groups, including Classroom Champions, Girls Hockey Calgary, Martha Billes Girls in Sport, Boys and Girls Club, and the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Center. Nominated by Classroom Champions.

    Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt (Track Paralympian, Downhill Skiing) Member of multiple leadership groups, including the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Advisory Council, Team for Tomorrow, Disability Policy Action Working Group, and more. Nominated by Katy Sullivan.

    Ron Freeman (Track Olympian) Founded the International Medalist Association, which uses sport as a way to enhance life skills for youth internationally, with a focus in Guinea. Nominated by U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association.

    Akeem Haynes (Track Olympian) Athlete mentor for Classroom Champions and working to create an initiative that will provide shoes for children in need. Nominated by Sam Effah.

    Haley Hunter Smith (Mountain Biking) Mentors with Fast and Female and Cam’s Kids Foundation. She focuses on teaching youth about mental wellness, particularly in regards to anxiety and eating disorders. Nominated by Tavis Smith.

    Hannah Macdougall (Cycling Athlete and Skiing Paralympian) Ambassador for Access for All Abilities, Just BU, Women Sport Australia, and Student Representative for La Trobe Sport Management Board. Nominated by Bernadette Sierkowski.

    Markeith Price (Track and Field Paralympian) Runs the ICYou Foundation, created scholarships for the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, volunteers with Camp Abilities and Foundation for Fighting Blindness. Nominated by Lex Gillette.

    Winter Vinecki (Aerial Skiing) Started the non-profit Team Winter, to raise money for research and awareness of prostate cancer. Focuses on teaching youth to “grit it out” and persevere. Nominated by Emily Cook.

    Hannah Windell Lockwood (Rugby) Volunteers as a rugby coach for young women, helped start the first all-girls tackle program in San Diego, and mentors young girls through San Diego Girls Rugby! Nominated by Dallen Stanford.

  • Reynaldo Brown, Track and Field Olympian – Reynaldo has spent decades of his life volunteering with various organizations as a mentor and volunteer coach to young people all across southern California. Nominated by GSD staff members.

    Victoria Burke, Rower – Victoria volunteers as a mentor with Girls RowLA, teaching the program participants about nutrition, college recruitment, rowing skills and more. She is currently training for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Nominated by Liz Greenberger.

    Anne Warner Cribbs, Swimming Olympian – After winning the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, Anne went on to become a powerhouse in fostering the developing of positive sport in California and elsewhere. Nominated by The United States Olympians and Paralympians Association.

    Sam Effah, Track and Field – A Rio 2016 hopeful, Sam volunteers as a mentor with Classroom Champions and as an Ambassador for Right to Play. Nominated by Giddeon Massie of Classroom Champions.

    Santi Freixa, Field Hockey Olympian – Santi’s passion for field hockey is evident in his impressive career as well as his founding of “Stick for India,” an organization which brings field hockey to underserved youth in Anantapur, India. Nominated by the International Hockey Federation.

    Lex Gillette, Track and Field Paralympian – Despite actively competing, Lex takes time from his busy training schedule to mentor youth in person and over video through Classroom Champions. Nominated by Jennifer Regruth of Margaret R. Brown Elementary School and Steve Mesler of Classroom Champions.

    Sarah Hanffou, Table Tennis Olympian – Sarah’s long career with table tennis took a humanitarian shift in 2006 when she created the non-profit organization, “Ping sans Frontieres,” which seeks to develop table tennis in Africa. Nominated by the International Table Tennis Federation.

    Angie Malone, Wheelchair Curling Paralympian – Angie has dedicated much of her career to introducing others to wheelchair curling and adaptive sport. She volunteers with Braehead Wheelchair Curling Club, serves as a “School Champion,” and is a patron with Ayrshire Sportsability. Nominated by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and the World Curling Federation.

    Charly Neme Montoya, Wheelchair Rugby – Charly serves as a unique role model to youth in Colombia. In addition to working to include people with impairments in the world of sport, Charly mentors youth and shares his experiences as a past gang member to encourage young people to be drug free and to find positive conflict management resolution methods. He is currently training for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio. Nominated by the International Paralympic Committee.

    Katy Sullivan, Track and Field Paralympian – Katy is a powerful role model for young people with impairments. As an athlete and prominent member of the Paralympic movement, she is a consistent advocate for inclusive sport. Nominated by Ready, Set, Gold!

    Darrell Thompson, Retired Football Player – Darrell has dedicated over two decades to positive youth development. Starting as a mentor with Bolder Options, a youth development organization, Darrell transformed this organization into a pillar for youth in the Twin Cities area. Nominated by Tony Sanneh.

    Tzipi Zipper, Wheelchair Curling – Tzipi sustained injuries while working as a security officer, and her injuries have led her to begin using a wheelchair. After she found wheelchair curling, Tzipi quickly became an advocate for people with impairments. She works tirelessly to raise awareness for programs and accessibility around the world. Nominated by Israeli Curling and the World Curling Federation.

  • Jeb Brovsky, Professional soccer player and founder of the Peace Pandemic Corp., which helps provide equipment for young soccer players in impoverished countries. Nominated by Benoit Labonte of Jebi Knights.

    Candace Cable, Paralympian, advocate for people with disabilities, public speaker, former program director. Nominated by the U.S. Olympian and Paralympian Association.

    Emily Cook, Olympian, athlete ambassador for Right to PlayClassroom Champions, and Kids Play International. Nominated by teachers Andrea Wiggins and Valentyna Banner.

    Hannah Davis, Olympian, volunteer and student mentor. Nominated by David Foureur of Australian Canoeing.

    Joe Delagrave, Paralympian, USOC athlete ambassador, participant on the USOC Paralympic Advisory Council, and mentor to new spinal cord injury patients. Nominated by April Delagrave

    Tracy Evans, Olympian and founder of Kids Play International which uses sport as a catalyst to promote gender equality in communities impacted by genocide. Nominated by the U.S. Olympian and Paralympian Association.

    Rafer Johnson, Olympian and founder of the California Special Olympics who is involved with multiple community outreach and humanitarian projects. Nominated by Anita DeFrantz.

    Peter Karlsson, Olympian and Peace and Sport Program ambassador who is involved with the implementation of youth based table tennis programming in high-conflict areas including Columbia, East Timor, Burundi, and the Congo. Nominated by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

    Lao Khang, Member of Lao Women’s National Rugby Team, youth mentor and coach who leads rugby activities in rural, remote, and underserved communities. Nominated by Megan Knight.

    Angela Madsen, Paralympian, Ready, Set, Gold volunteer and founder of California Adaptive Rowing Program which provides instruction and training in the sport of rowing to physically and intellectually challenged individuals. Nominated by the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG) Ready, Set, Gold Program administration.

    Steve Mesler, Olympian and co-founder of Classroom Champions, a youth mentoring program that connects top performing athletes with students in high-need schools. Nominated by the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP).

    Kieran Modra, Paralympian and mentor of visually impaired youth living in Australia. Nominated by Sylvia Modra.

    Tim Morehouse, Olympian, Right to Play athlete ambassador, youth mentor, and founder and CEO of Fencing in the Schools. Nominated by Jeff Spear.

    Zahra Nemati, Paralympian and humanitarian who advocates for equality and often speaks publicly on the issue to groups, including the UN. Nominated by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

    Tony Sanneh, Major league soccer player and founder of The Sanneh Foundation which uses soccer as a catalyst to empower kids, improve lives and unite communities. Nominated by the USOC’s Athlete Advisory Commission.

    Dallen Stanford, Professional rugby player, rugby coach, program manager for the youth nonprofit organization, Play Rugby USA, and ambassador for the Tackling Cancer Foundation. Nominated by Erin Sullivan.

    Robert Susanj, Curler, member of the European Curling Federation and director of the Police Administration Specialty who is involved with multiple community service efforts. Nominated by the World Curling Federation (WCF).

    Hayley Wickenheiser, Olympian, member of the IOC Athletes’ CommissionClassroom Champions volunteer, KidSport volunteer, and ambassador to impoverished African countries where she visits schools and communities to mentor youth. Nominated by Dale Ross, Principal at Shaunavon Public School.