Sharks player finds home at the rink

York university student says her favourite coach is her dad, who kick-started her in hockey

When Carley Duggan was three years old, she was persuaded to play hockey by her dad.

Like any child, she agreed to play the game because of candy.

“My dad told me I was going to play on a real team next year. I cried and told him I didn’t want to,” she said.

“I started playing hockey because my dad bribed me with a giant jawbreaker.”

Little did she know, years after her first game she would still be involved with hockey.

Duggan, 19, is a member of the Scarborough Sharks Girls Hockey Association (SSGHA) and has been playing for 16 years.

“I hope to keep playing hockey for as long as I can,” she said.

Duggan has played for the SSGHA as well as the Durham West Girls Hockey Association.

She is an athlete on the Intermediate A team for the SSGHA and is a full-time student at Glendon College, York University studying business economics and bilingual studies.

“I have played Midget B and BB as well as Bantam C/select and house league,” she said.

Duggan believes her career isn’t going to get any better than where it is now.

“I think I am going to finish off my next few years on the competitive team I’m on now and then see what happens,” she said.

“I’ll continue to play for fun, but I don’t believe I’ll be headed to the Olympics anytime soon.”

She says her biggest accomplishment was making the jump from house league to competitive hockey.

“The best years I’ve had in my career have all been during my time on a competitive team,” she said.

“During these past few years, I’ve had many accomplishments, l i ke winning tournaments and participating in playoffs and provincials.”

Duggan said she grew up playing different sports such as soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse.

She decided that hockey was the game she loved and wanted to pursue.

“I never wished I played something different,” she said.

“Hockey is such a big part of my life that I couldn’t imagine not playing it.”

Most athletes have the fear of not making a team they try out for. Duggan has lived through that experience.

“It was the third and last tryout and I didn’t make the cut,” she said.

“I was so devastated…all the confidence that I had in myself was gone. Luckily I kept my chin up and made the next team I tried out for and all my confidence came flooding back.”

Even though he bribed her to play hockey, her favourite coach has always been her dad.

“He knows his hockey really well,” she said.

“He gets along great with players, parents and his goal as a coach is to have fun first and win second.”

The sport has not only helped Duggan make friends, but also stay active.

“Hockey has been a great place for me to establish good friendships and learn to work well with others,” she said.

“For me, hockey has been a sort of home away from home.”