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Women’s Month: Jill Benting

I am a Programme and Grants Manager for the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation South Africa. I manage the Laureus Youth Empowerment through Sport (YES) Programme, which aims to discover and unlock hidden potential within South African youth aged 18-25 in becoming more employable and pursuing their personal goals. The YES programme is the only in-house programme implemented by the Laureus SA Foundation, which runs on an annually basis and consist of two 5-day training residential camps and various accredited courses. Alongside my team I facilitate learning and assist the young leaders to create their action plan to build a sustainable lifestyle with the necessary mentoring support and accountability from the team.

As a Grant Manager, part of my role is to support organisations with capacity building to improve operations and implementation and to manage the relationship between the foundation and the organisations.

My family, particularly my two nieces. The youngest (12 y.o) was born with a condition called Spina Bifida, which makes her life more challenging. They inspire me to get up, try again and do my best to be someone they can look up to and in the process hopefully transfer values and characteristics they can use to live a purposeful life. I also enjoy mentoring young people, and witnessing the transformation within as they realize that they have someone in their corner who believes I them. ‘If you want to achieve your goals, help others achieve their goals.’ – Zig Ziglar

My Father, he was the kind of person who was always the same no matter who he spoke to. As a leader, he had this ability to make both young and old believe in themselves, through conversations he would make you feel like you mattered, that there is significance to your existence and exploring that purpose is happiness. He taught me that success is not measured by your status, title or bank balance but that the most valuable things in life are free; love, kindness and peace. He was such an approachable man and made a huge impact in so many lives, both young and old.

I believe the biggest barrier in gender equality is the much needed support from men, and taking public action and speaking up to the inequalities and even if it is unpopular. This form of activism is something that should transpire in every area of our lives. I believe that will be the only way to create an active changed mindset for younger generations to come.

Male athletes have an important role to play. As a men’s team to get behind and support the woman’s teams as well, driving campaigns to draw interest and media which could lead to more financial support and development of female sporting teams.

Always be yourself; authentic and real is way better than being a copy of someone else. 

To pursue your career with more than only being focused on excelling in the sport skill, but also the potential of your purpose in whichever role you take on. It will be tough to break the glass ceiling, but should you persist you will be breaking it for all the young girls looking up to you.

Everything will fall into place, so worry less and just be happy. The things that makes you different is your biggest strength. 

To hit home the message that sport has a role to play on and off the field, by focussing on the ‘hope’ element and how that can be transferred throughout our lives as we continually pursue our personal and professional goals. There are so many ‘for good’ initiatives that can be activated and implemented through sport which could impact those around us, our communities and ultimately the world and how it can enhance how we interact and co-exist.

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