Our Mission

Hope Sports is a non-profit organization that promotes personal growth and community among athletes through short-term service trips to Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. We aim to provide a transformational experience that unites athletes around a shared purpose of serving the poor that can become a catalyst for athletes to impact their families, teams and communities for positive change.

Hope Sports is devoted to a two-pronged mission: 1) To engage professional athletes in community service, providing them with an opportunity to connect meaningfully to a world beyond their athletic career, and 2) To build homes for low-income families in around the world. Through their collective efforts, individual athletes and sports teams collaborate on projects that inspire them to live with a greater purpose and heart of service

Community

We create a community of athletes who share the belief that athletes are more than the sum of their results.

Purpose

We help athletes to live purpose-based lives and develop relationship-based identities.

Identity

We encourage athletes to define themselves through their larger purpose and their relationships, rather than the narrow lens of their sports accomplishments.

What Makes Hope Sports Unique?

Preventative

Competing organizations provide support for athletes only after they’ve completed their athletic careers. Hope Sports gets athletes involved at any stage of their careers to begin building a purposeful and guided life. By the time they are at the end of their sports careers, our participants will have constructed sustainable identities that are not centered on their professional achievements, making the transition to life after sports much smoother.

 

Comprehensive

Hope Sports is the only comprehensive program that helps athletes achieve emotional, mental, and social stability outside of their life in sports. By helping athletes redefine their identity through the broader lens of service and relationships, we give them the tools to succeed off of the field, touching every aspect of their lives.

 

High-Quality Impact

Hope Sports’ programs are rigorously reviewed by Thrive Center for Human Development, a research center that evaluates program effectiveness and provides recommendations for optimal impact. Through this partnership, Hope Sports is committed to delivering high-quality, impact centered programs. We offer long-lasting results for our participants by fostering a future generation of healthy and balanced athletes.

 

Measurable Results

To measure the impacts of the Hope Sports program on physical health of impoverished families and mental health of professional athletes, a comprehensive evaluation plan exists as summarized below:

Quantitative Evaluation Methods:

  • Tracking of participating athlete social media activity regarding attitudes, mental health awareness, and behavioral change
  • Pre and post surveys to assess athlete self-identity, emotional wellbeing, mental health awareness, and behavioral change
  • Counting and tracking demographic data, numbers served, participant return rate, and participant referrals

 

Qualitative Evaluation Methods:

  • Individual debrief sessions with each participating athlete after the build is complete
  • Quarterly follow-ups with recipient families to assess physical and mental health within each family

 

Through these methods, Hope Sports continually identifies areas of strength and improvement, and uses data gleaned from these processes to inform development and enhancement of the Hope Sports program on an ongoing basis.

Helping Local Communities

While our athletes benefit hugely from a Hope Sports trip, it’s the families moving into the new homes whose lives are impacted the most.  A combination of local and external resources working together is essential to achieve transformational and sustainable change for the families.

Families have to help prepare the build site and also help with the labor at the build
Families have to own the land or have been making payments on it for the past 6 months, as a sign of commitment.
Families must have children to qualify.
Families must have regular income but great economic need (average weekly wage is less than $70/week).

Benefits For Athletes:

The home build program experience encourages a purpose-based identity for participating athletes in three primary ways:

  • Emphasizing that service to others in need is a way to find purpose in life.
  • Highlighting the role that relationships play to create resilience to overcome life’s challenges and build a sustainable future for themselves and others.  
  • Providing the context to help participants redefine their self-worth through non-sporting activities.

By helping athletes discover their self-worth beyond their sports accomplishments and medals, athletes begin to appreciate and value their place in society beyond their athletic pursuits.

Benefits For Recipient Families:

We work closely with Homes of Hope to select recipient families, manage a team of professional builders, and handle the logistics of constructing the homes.

Transitioning from homeless to having a home has dramatic impact on the families we serve, including:

  • Dramatically improving health for families, especially the children.
  • Giving children a higher chance to pursue a basic education which has a cumulative effect on economic earning potential over the course of their lives.
  • Freeing up resources in the family for necessities such as clothing, food and school supplies.
  • Allowing families to provide more support to their neighbors which has a ripple effect across entire communities.

After a home is complete, a moving dedication ceremony is held to hand over the keys to the benefitting family and celebrate their new home together.

Leadership Development Program

 

Benefits For Athletes

Hope Sports’ Leadership Development Program is a 6-month, virtual curriculum that teaches athletes how to build purpose-based lives. This curriculum allows Hope Sports’ mission and values to be accessed by professional athletes worldwide so that anyone can build a purpose-based identity outside of sports.

The goal of Hope Sports’ Leadership Development Program is to advocate and spread the importance of living a purpose-based, rather than a performance-based life. Through the organization’s curriculum, athletes will be able to gain a new perspective on their life outside of sports and build the foundation for purpose outside of their athletic career.

Benefits For Coaches

Hope Sports’ Leadership Development Program will also be available as an operation manual for coaches who seek to turn their sports team into a Hope Sports Certified Team. After completing the course, coaches will receive recognition as a Hope Sports Certified Team that is implementing and teaching purpose-based practices to create a more balanced sports team.

The Team

Guy East:  Founder

Guy East founded Hope Sports as a result of his personal life experiences as a professional athlete. Guy is a professional track cyclist who has competed on the US National Team and other professional cycling teams since 2005.

In 2009, at the peak of his career, Guy saw extreme poverty while racing in Mexico City. He began to question his purpose in life and decided to stop racing. He sold all of his possessions and traveled the world to serve the poor.

After two years of working with the poverty-stricken across the globe, Guy decided to return to professional racing, combining his desire to compete and his passion to help those in need. Hope Sports grew out of Guy’s vision to see professional athletes live with greater purpose and a heart of service.

Ben Houltberg: Director of Research & Development

Dr Ben Houltberg is a founding member and our Director of Research and Development. He is a core faculty member of the Thrive Center for Human Development in the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and he works with coaches and athletes around the world. His area of expertise is emotional health in high-stress environments. His research has been published and presented many times both nationally and internationally.

“Emotionally healthy athletes are able to live more meaningful lives, and will be better equipped to deal with the pressures of elite competition.”

Ben supports the importance of connecting athletes to purpose that leads to healthy identity development. His research was pivotal in forming Hope Sports’ mission and he is actively involved in our program curriculum.

“Purpose-based identity includes a sense of self-worth outside of sport, and a hopeful view of the future. These athletes are happier, more motivated and resilient.”

Ben holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Oklahoma State University and is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Board of Directors

Sean Lambert

CHAIRMAN

Guy East

PRESIDENT

Dave Stone

SECRETARY

Craig Porter
Ben Houltberg

Athlete Advisory Board

Dave Alberga

Former CEO of the Active Network

Laura Wilkinson

Olympic gold medalist, diving

Ato Boldon

Four-time Olympic medalist, TV analyst

Peter Smith

USC Men’s Tennis Head Coach

Phil Southerland

Founder of Team Type 1

Shawn Johnson East

Four-time Olympic medalist, TV personality

Arne Friedrich

Former pro soccer player, TV analyst

Frank Shamrock

Retired American MMA fighter. UFC Middleweight Champion

Ben Houltbert Ph.D

Professor at Fuller Seminary and former collegiate track & field athlete

Ronny Turiaf

10-year NBA veteran

Ben King

Professional cyclist

Our Partners