Mariam Mell’Osiime Mpaata, an award-winning sports activist and CEO of Afrika Sports Foundation Center (Uganda), has since 2008 used the power of sports to bring East African communities together. Her sports activism began in 2008 when her then eight-year-old son broke the windscreen of her neighbour’s Mercedes Benz with his football and while she was still figuring out how to keep him engaged, Kenya experienced post-election violence throwing the country in turmoil. To reconcile her two challenges, she founded the Junior Stars Youth Development programme in Mombasa to offer football training and safe spaces for young people. Since then, Mariam who also plays as an amateur goalkeeper has influenced and impacted more than 100,000 youth, women, and men throughout East Africa to take up sports for social and economic development. Besides this, Mariam is a sports columnist, an upcoming author of a sports memoir and holds an MBA in Sports Management from Real Madrid Graduate School. Mariam has been feted for the East African Community Outstanding Women’s Leadership Award, 2021, named a Finalist Social Entrepreneur during Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum, 2020, and feted among the Top 100 Most influential Muslims in Kenya 2019.