Lauryn Hutchinson was a student-athlete at Virginia Commonwealth University where she played soccer. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Masters of Education Degree in Sport Leadership.
There she met Tiffany Roberts-Sahaydak – a former member of the United States Women’s National Team- and through those connections and a recently granted dual citizenship, Hutchinson was able to begin playing for Trinidad and Tobago’s Women’s National Team.
Hutchinson’s father, a Trinidad and Tobago native, and Roberts-Sahaydak sent her to play in her first international tournament- the 2011 Pan American Olympic Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Since then, Hutchinson has become a regular starter as a defense specialist and was selected as a member of the national squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
While competing as national soccer player, Hutchinson also found the time to create FYP in 2011. Find Your Passion LLC is a platform to spread positivity and make a difference in people’s lives. Their mission is achieved through motivational speaking and seminars, camps and clinics, social media, and fashion.
When starting the business, Hutchinson says that some of the challenges she faced were “creating a clear mission statement, funding the activities I wanted to do, and getting people to buy in and help me.”
She also admits that there’s a struggle when balancing her work with FYP and her dedication to the national team “Playing for the National Team and finding time for FYP is tough. I have branded them together in such a way that whatever I do with the national team people know me as ‘FYP’. I would say I focus way more on the national team but I make enough to time for FYP so when I’m finished playing I have it.”
Dani Rylan is a 28-year-old former ice hockey player for the Northeastern
she tried to bring an expansion team of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League to New York City, she failed. So she did the next best thing- she started her own league. Now Rylan is the founder and commissioner of a league and a general manager of a franchise.
There are four franchises in the National Women’s Hockey League: New York, Buffalo, Connecticut, and Boston. The NWHL is the first league in North America to offer paid salaries to its players. The season lasts from October to February and salaries are small, ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. With such limited salary playing in the league can’t be a sustainable full-time job, but the players are eligible for health insurance and players receive a 15 percent cut of each of her jersey sales.
The league got its financial backing mostly from anonymous investors and has yet to attract major sponsors, but Rylan is okay with that. In an interview with ESPNW, Rylan was quoted “We want to focus on making Year 1 as successful as possible, so in Year 2 sponsors are approaching us. The companies that wanted us to get our bumps and bruises and learn through Year 1, we’ll circle back with them, and it will be a no-brainer.”
Rylan has made it clear that league isn’t just about making money. It’s about respect and being treated as professionals.
CBS Sports may put it best: “The league’s aims are not grandiose. They’re born out of a noble desire to give the best female hockey players in the world a place to continue to develop their craft while making money for it…”
And Rylan is intent to continue to grow the league and develop more franchises. She has dreams of expansions and partnerships and goals that will ensure the league’s long-term success.