Sydney Sy Tancontian, a native of Davao City, has recently been elected as the chairperson of the Fias (International Sambo Federation) Athletes' Commission, marking a significant milestone for the Pilipinas Sambo Federation Inc. (PSFI), established in October 2015.
At just 24 years old, Tancontian, who initially joined the Fias Athletes' Commission in 2019 as a member, now assumes the role of chairperson. Her primary responsibilities include fostering a secure environment for sambo athletes to express their thoughts and concerns, as well as implementing programs that benefit them.
In a statement featured on the Fias official website on January 19, 2024, Tancontian, a bronze medalist at the 2023 World Sambo Championships, expressed her commitment, stating, "Now that I will be chairing this commission, it's my responsibility to create friendships and a safe space for my fellow athletes to speak up and voice their thoughts so that the sport will continue to grow and thrive through the athletes' voices."
Tancontian's new role also grants her a direct seat in the Fias Executive Committee, representing all sambo athletes, as per the Fias Statutes.
She shared that she applied as a member of the Fias Athletes' Commission in 2019, inspired by her predecessor, Laure Fournier, whom she described as a "great athlete, an eloquent speaker, and a fantastic mentor."
While initially aspiring to represent the Philippines and Southeast Asia, she now assumes the responsibility of being the voice for her fellow athletes.
Currently training in Egypt, Tancontian acknowledged the significant opportunities for personal and athletic growth that sambo has provided her.
Her father, Paolo, the President of PSFI, expressed pride in Sydney's achievement, emphasizing the unexpected nature of someone from Southeast Asia, particularly Davao, becoming the chairperson of the Fias Athletes' Commission.
Tancontian, a graduate of Fitness and Sports Management from the University of Santo Tomas, is a multi-sport athlete with 16 years of experience in various martial arts, including judo, wrestling, jiujitsu, kurash, and sambo.
She first trained in judo at age eight under her father, a distinguished former member of the national judo team during his prime.
Throughout her career, Tancontian has collected numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals in international and world-class competitions.
On her Fias profile, Tancontian said, "I thrive on the challenges of competition, meeting new people, and the learning opportunities from training I experience throughout my sports career. These opportunities have greatly impacted my life, which I choose to share by guiding young athletes."
PSFI congratulated Tancontian on her election, expressing pride in her accomplishments. "We are here to support you all the way," the federation wrote on its Facebook. MLSA