Identification & Selection

Each year, Michael Johnson, along with partners and experts, identify the Young Leaders through local community sport organizations from all over the world. Applications are not open to the public – Michael Johnson works with partners and experts who nominate candidates in communities. All candidates have a nominating organization that puts them forward and supports them throughout the process.



This program is specifically geared towards those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to access this type of support and resource:

  • Must be 16-23 years old (the next generation of leaders)
  • Have a disadvantaged background
  • and/or
  • Have been marginalized by society in the most extreme sense
  • From all regions in the world, but must show how and why specifically this program can provide better opportunity in that place that the participant would not otherwise have
  • Must be available to attend and travel to the one-week course


Young Leaders must have a commitment and a passion for sport, whether it be on the field, as a potential career, or as a way for them to engage their community.


Young Leaders must show existing leadership qualities as well as be deemed by their nominating organization as a potential future leader.


Young Leaders must have a commitment to their own community and have shown ways that they have used sport to contribute to the improvement of their surroundings. During the program, they are supported in a project they have identified that addresses a need in their community, and they must show how they will succeed in implementing this over the year.


This program aims to have impact beyond the one-week course, beyond the one-year of support. Participants are expected and supported in sharing their story and continuing to work and lead in their community through sport after completing the program. Therefore those selected must show that they are capable of achieving this through adhering to the following criteria:

  • Have the ability to share their story

Have shown interest in supporting the younger generation.