Sam Philp recently joined the Ladder team as AFL Industry Engagement Coordinator, after four years playing for the Carlton Football Club. During his time at the club, Sam became involved with Ladder via our internship program and after interacting with Ladder programs became a mentor to program participant Cooper.

AFL and AFLW players, both current and retired, play such an important role in Ladder programs and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge for our young people. They also gain experience and develop skills that will assist them in their future career pathways.

We sat down with Sam as he reflected on his involvement with Ladder and how his new role will support players to make a significant impact on the lives of young people in our Ladder programs.

How did you first find out about Ladder?

I first heard about Ladder through my Player Development Manager while playing at Carlton. I was recently placed into long term rehab and wanted to invest my time into something meaningful while not playing. 

Why did you want to get involved and support Ladder?

I wanted to get involved in Ladder because the work they do is powerful. Playing a part in helping kids who have had a disadvantaged start to life is something that interested me a lot. 

Can you tell us about what the mentoring program is and your friendship with Cooper?

Cooper is someone who I got in contact with while at Carlton. He is a mad Carlton supporter and was someone who was a great pleasure to mentor. Cooper and I maintained regular contact throughout my time playing at Carlton and he is someone who is on the verge of doing great things. 

What do you enjoy most about mentoring Cooper?

I enjoyed spending time and hearing about some of the things Cooper is up to. He loves his music and is big into his rapping. He is also making great progressions with his employment at Mc Donalds.

What is your new role at Ladder and what will you be doing?

My new role at Ladder is the AFL Industry Engagement Coordinator. I will be helping out our national program manager Tara, in building the relationship and engagement with the AFL/W players. Ladder was founded by players and is the official charity of the AFL/W players so it will be great to work towards strengthening that relationship.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

I am most looking forward to engaging closely with the AFL Players’ Association and AFL clubs to build the relationship. I am also looking forward to hopefully working with the different programs involved at Ladder.

What does it mean to you to be working at Ladder?

It is great to be working at Ladder. I have loved my time being involved over the last couple of years but it will be great to be here on a more regular basis. Ladder is a great organisation that does work that I am passionate about.

Why do you think it's important for AFL and AFLW players to get involved with Ladder?

I think it’s important for AFL and AFLW players to get involved with Ladder as it is the official charity of the players. Ladder are very accommodating to players schedules and routines and the program participants are very appreciative of involvement at any level. 

How much do the young people get out of the support from AFL and AFLW players?

The young people involved at Ladder often lack role models, so having players from the AFL and AFLW show support is very powerful and they take a lot from it.