Carly Jackson returns from Canada U-18 camp

Team Canada draws line between friend and foe

Dave Mathieson
Published on May 15, 2014

AMHERST - Carly Jackson has an even greater appreciation for what it means to play hockey for Team Canada.

AMHERST - Carly Jackson has an even greater appreciation for what it means to play hockey for Team Canada.

"They really reinforced the idea to work hard to beat other countries," said Jackson, after returning on Sunday from Canada's National Women's Under-18 strength and conditioning camp. "You have to do the little things and always work towards that goal."

The 16-year-old goaltender from Hastings was one of 53 candidates trying out for Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team last week in Hamilton, Ont. There were also 49 candidates at the camp trying out for Canada's National Women's Development Team.

Jackson says most hockey camps emphasize the importance of working harder than the person next to you, but this camp was different. This camp emphasized the importance of working harder than players in other countries, while always focusing on the ultimate goal in women's hockey - winning team gold at the Olympics.

"They taught us what it takes to be a national athlete on and off the ice," said Jackson. "It was a lot of information but I definitely learned so much in so little time."

Now that she is back home she keeps a journal of her daily activities.

"We do journals every day on the internet and send them in to let them know what we do," said Jackson. "It takes about 10 or 15 minutes. It's a habit now."

There were eight goaltenders at the Under-18 camp, and Jackson thinks she left a good impression.

"I had a pretty solid camp and I was happy as an individual with how I performed," she said.

The camp is the first step for any athlete with ambitions of Olympic glory. The second step is in August when players are who aren't cut are invited to the second camp.

"It's a lot of hard work, and I'm willing to do what it takes and, hopefully, I can make it to that next level," said Jackson. "It's so amazing to be part of it and I really want to continue to be part of it."

This week Jackson is trying out for the Weeks Major Midgets hockey team.

Jackson is also a graduate of the Amherst Little League baseball program and continues to play baseball in the summer.

On Wednesday, she was informed that she will pitch for the Team Nova Scotia Under-16 team this summer.

Also, earlier this week she was given notice that she will play on the Baseball Nova Scotia Midget AAA Boys MacGregor baseball team this summer, but she isn't sure whether or not she will be pitching for the boy's team.

Jackson thanks everybody who supported her at the camp and everybody who has supported her at home.

"I made so many new friends and met so many great people. It was really amazing to train with the best in the country for my age," she said. "And I thank everyone who helped me get these opportunities and I appreciate everything everyone helped me achieve."