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Meet Treya

The importance of role models and believing in yourself

Let me introduce you to Treya Bolin – a Producer who is smashing it as part of Team Whistle. We caught up with her to learn about how she got into the industry and what advice she would give to her younger self. If you’re a young woman looking for your first role in sports and production, give this a read. Treya is inspiring – positive, driven and fiercely ambitious. Hopefully her story will help you with your journey.

Tell us about your role

My name is Treya Bolin. I am a producer with Team Whistle. Producers require a healthy mix of skills ranging from production management to direction. It’s all of that wrapped in one.

I do a ton of research in advance of shoots, so if I am given an athlete to highlight, I need to figure out what school they played for, their hobbies, where are they from, family background, things like that.  I also coordinate the entire shoot. I need to make sure that I have a crew. I am hiring the directors. I am hiring the DPs, camera operators, and managing the budgets.

I am overseeing everything from pre-production through to the final stages of post-production. I come from a video editing background and what that’s what landed me a role in the producing space. I know what a video editor needs because I've been an editor myself.

How does your role allow for the championing of women?

My role allows for the championing of women by giving them opportunities and ability to express themselves creatively. As the producer, I have been able to champion women by showing them they can be in production. I have the final say in terms of who I would like to hire. I have had the opportunity to hire a lot of women, a lot of women of colour, just people that I know are tremendously talented and deserving.

When I first graduated from college, it was very hard for me to find a job. A woman named Tessa Travis reached out with an opportunity for me to intern at Milk Studios. Two weeks after my internship, they brought me in as a freelance video editor. I remember being so grateful that she gave me the opportunity to edit alongside them. I was driven by her belief in me. For me, her giving me a chance was big. At first, I had doubts, questioning if I could ever do what she does. But after a while I started being more comfortable and confident. I am proud to say that it was a woman who gave me my first opportunity in media.

After Milk, I saw a lot of black women producers at the Viacom office putting together these shoots. I had never seen that before. I was in awe being around women who were just killing it. That made me feel like I could be a boss too. When I started seeing women that looked like me, coming with their point of view, showing up and making an impact on the set, that is when I was able to believe it was possible for me as well. Forward to now, at Whistle, and I am shaking hands confidently with athletes, and all of that stems from seeing those ladies.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be confident. Even if you are not, fake till you make it, because the more you practice and show up, the more it shows that you are trying, and that everything will eventually go as planned. You must be resilient and adaptable. Another piece of advice for young women is to care deeply. I had the pleasure of hiring one of my mentors as a DP. There was just so much going on during the shoot, and I remember he was like, “Hey, you got to make sure that you feed your crew because we're here for you. If we all decided to leave the set right now, what would you have?” In that moment how I realised that's how true that was. You must care about your team.

Who was the first female athlete that inspired you?

Growing up in like the nineties, like many black girls, I loved Venus and Serena. They represented us and looked like us. They were wearing braids, and I wore braids growing up. For a black little girl rarely seeing athletes that looked like me, that was inspiring. 

On the sneaker side, I would say Maya Moore. She is the first woman to have an endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand. Not only that, but she is also the first black WNBA player to have an endorsement, and that's inspiring. And then Sheryl Swoopes also. She is the first black WNBA player to have her own signature athletic sneaker with Nike – the Air Swoopes. Those women I'm inspired by because they are the first trailblazers.

What do you hope to see more of for women in sports in 2024?

I want to see us coming together, helping each other in any way, pulling each other up when it comes to job opportunities or just being in spaces that we desire to be in, whether it's sports or elsewhere. I feel like we're getting there, but there's always room for growth.