Lindsey Gleason’s love for sports have opened many doors for her. She not only had the privilege of playing volleyball for four years while at Le Moyne; she also got to play while earning her master’s degree overseas at Durham University in England. Her experience overseas afforded her a glimpse into the world of collegiate sports on an international stage – and from there a new business was born.
TeamGLEAS (TG) is a social network free to student-athletes that connects them with college coaches overseas. Students can filter through universities associated with TG based on what sport they play and where and want they want to study. At the same time, coaches can search for students based on the sport they coach and the position that they're looking to fill. Students and coaches that have found potential matches can then message and start communicating with one another while overseas directly from the site. Gleason and her team of volunteers don’t run the business from a set location since they are on the road so much, but as long as there is a wireless internet connection, TG can be run from anywhere in the world.
According to Gleason, “TG cuts the time, cost, confusion, and frustration typically associated with finding international placements. You can basically connect with coaches 3,000 miles away in 5 minutes. It's so simple.”
Gleason’s business is a reflection of her own experience with college sports at an international level. “I never even knew that playing college sports overseas was an option until I tripped over an ad for it, and I definitely hadn't planned on becoming a business owner right out of college,” she said. “My lack of knowledge and personal frustration with the process of getting overseas made me realize that it could be done so much better.”
Gleason, who graduated from Le Moyne in 2010 with a degree in business management and leadership, soon realized the popularity of collegiate sports overseas. She credits her experience as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and an internship with the Northeast 10 conference with leading her to TeamGLEAS.
“That internship taught me a lot about the NCAA and introduced me to the behind-the-scenes aspects of how college sports work in the states. If I hadn't gotten that internship I probably never would've thought to look for jobs on the NCAA job board, which is where I found the post-graduate sports scholarship to Durham University in England. If I hadn't found that ad, I never would've gone overseas and thought of the company.”
Currently, TG is focusing on expanding its reach by creating connections with universities all over the world. Right now, all of the colleges they are associated with are in England, but they plan on branching out to various other countries in the near future. Gleason believes that the business will continue to prosper and create life-changing opportunities for students.
“TeamGLEAS stands for globalizing education and sports,” she said. "It makes you challenge yourself, grow as a person and start to look at the world differently. The most rewarding part of my job is not only knowing that we're introducing a completely new option to students and giving them the chance to play sports again while studying abroad, but that we're also giving so many other people (such as participating students’ friends and family members) a reason to travel overseas who might not have otherwise.”
-- Bottom two photos courtesy of Adam Sauerwein.