Carley Olivier, a member of the UW Women’s Hockey team and a health studies student at the University of Waterloo, has been playing hockey since the age of three.
“I’ve been skating ever since I was two years old, and playing ever since I was three. Hockey has definitely been in my life for most of it,” she said.
Originally from Sudbury, Olivier comes from a close-knit community that has always been involved in hockey. Playing hockey on a team has helped her polish several different skills.
“I’ve learned to work with the team and on the team. So my social and collaborative skills, I would say, have developed a lot,” Olivier said. “I have learned how to communicate better. In hockey, if my linemate and I want to coordinate, we need to be able to communicate well.”
Apart from being a student-athlete, Olivier also works as a supply teacher. Hockey has taught Olivier how to prioritize and manage her time well.
“As I got more competitive in hockey, my time management skills also began to improve. The balance between school, work, and sport can be pretty demanding, and being able to have a healthy lifestyle, on top of that, is almost like an added stress,” Olivier said. “But now, I know if I can get my stuff done ahead of time I know I’m gonna be good to go out and socialize on the weekend.”
Typically, the hockey team holds practice 5 days a week and Tuesdays and Thursdays is there morning practice/workouts, around which Olivier organizes her academic commitments.
“Usually, we have a workout session and practice in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sometimes, we have athletic therapy appointments and then, of course, classes,” she said. “I’m fortunate to not have any in-person classes this semester, but in a regular year, I would go to class after practice.”
The UW Women’s Hockey team has been having a great season with a 7-1 record so far, their only loss coming in overtime at Western all the way back in November.
“Given the circumstances of us not playing for the last year and this recent small break, I think it just made everyone miss hockey a little bit more so we were able to get off to a good start,” Olivier said. “Everyone was excited to be there. Everyone just wanted to get back on the ice and play. I think that has a lot to do with the success we’re having this year.”
The administrative team, too, has been making changes to give the athletes a better experience.
“Our coaches, our team, and the leadership group have been working together to create a new atmosphere which is really helping everyone settle in,” Olivier said. “Everyone is getting a better understanding of the values and the system that we have in place this year.”
The time away from the pandemic made Olivier feel an even bigger love and appreciation for the game.
“Now when I get a chance to play, I don’t take it for granted anymore. It has been taken away from us before, so it makes me more excited to go to the rink every day and play hard and practice hard,” she said.