Growing up, Sydney LeGuillow, a senior forward with the Hofstra University field hockey team, participated in an organization called YLYM (Young Ladies Young Men), that fostered leadership development. It contributed greatly to her confidence, mindfulness and ability to have constructive conversations. Today, LeGuillow is not only a leader on the field hockey team, but also president of Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
“College is when I started taking more opportunities to lead with activism. BLM was definitely a catalyst,” said LeGuillow, who is a CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) commissioner’s academic honor roll member and NFHCA Division I national academic squad member. She has a double major in political science and global studies and a minor in economics and international affairs. This past summer she had an internship with the Institute for Workforce Advancement.
LeGuillow, who grew up in Virginia Beach, Va., started playing field hockey at around age six because someone was starting a league and her sister was playing. Her parents, who both grew up in Queens, had no idea what field hockey was, but were totally supportive. Midway through high school, she realized she could have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
“My high school team was pretty good and a lot of people older than me played on my club team and went on to play Division I,” she said. “I thought if I play alongside these people I might have a shot myself.”
Being a top student—LeGuillow also earned the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award—while competing in a fall sport has been challenging and rewarding. “I’ve always valued education so much, and I really do enjoy school and going to classes. I see field hockey, being outside and being around my teammates as a release. I feel this is good for my health and my spirit. I use it as an outlet,” she said.
When LeGuillow originally joined the SAAC, she was the diversity, equity and wellness coordinator on the executive board. A field hockey teammate serving as president encouraged her to run for president, and she was elected the following year. Playing well and being an effective team leader are important.
“We have great players on our team,” LeGuillow said. “I really want to go to the CAA Championship and make a name in our conference. Our team doesn’t have a history of doing that, so the main focus is doing everything I can to get us there. That’s the big goal.”