Determination is what it takes to win a championship in only you’re sixth year of a sport.
That is exactly what Carleton Ravens men’s curling skip, Cameron Goodkey did.
“I would say he’s dedicated to whatever he’s into, and he goes all in on it,” Goodkey’s brother Gordon said.
Goodkey began his curling career six years ago, when he spotted the game being broadcast on a tv at a restaurant.
“We were out for breakfast with my hockey team one day after one of our 6 am games back in the day, and we just looked up and saw Rachel Homan’s team playing on tv, and we decided we’d give it a try, and a couple of us fell in love with it,” Goodkey said.
Like every young Canadian kid, Goodkey grew up playing hockey for as long as he can remember, and while playing hockey, also played soccer.
“Hockey and soccer both, I’ve played since I could walk, and I still play both of them, not competitively anymore, but just for fun,” Goodkey said.
Once introduced to the sport of curling, Goodkey realized there were so many different aspects of curling you never realize until you start playing.
“There are so many different things in curling that you have to put time into to actually get better. And it looks easy when you’re watching it on tv, all you got to do is throw this rock into a circle,” Goodkey said.
“But there’s so many different things between when you actually slide with the rock, to releasing the rock, to understanding the ice, to using your brushers, and there is so many aspects of the game that you need to take into account,” he added.
Goodkey is currently a fourth-year Carleton student, taking a bachelor of commerce with a specialization in finance and taking a minor in stats. And as for what drew him to Carleton, is the reason that his older brother Gordon, and his parents all took commerce at Carleton.
“I don’t think I really had a choice,” he said.
And while he is the skip of the Carleton Ravens men’s curling team, Goodkey only joined the team in his second year.
While he does play for the Ravens, Goodkey has also skipped for his junior team, in which he came fourth in Ontario with. He also played for a men’s team in which two other Ravens players are on.
“We’ve done well, we’ve won a couple tournaments together, and it’s nice to win things and nice to win games, nice to have good memories along with wins,” Goodkey said about his most memorable moments with his other teams.
This past year, Goodkey and the Ravens team won gold at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s curling championship, and by winning gold, booked a ticket to the U Sports Men’s Curling nationals out in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
“Our goal going into the weekend was to make playoffs, and then once we made it to playoffs was to make the semis to give us two chances at getting our way to nationals,” Goodkey said about the OUA playoffs.
“And that quarterfinal game that we had at OUAs was very tight and I would say that was our closest playoff game that we’ve had,” he added.
Following the team’s win at the OUA level, Goodkey and his team then went on to win nationals, grabbing Carleton University’s first ever men’s curling title.
“I would say winning. Winning nationals was pretty fun. I’ve been on the team for the past three years now, and we’ve lost out of the quarterfinals of the OUA the previous two years. We’ve had good teams that we thought we’d do really well the last three years, and it was nice to see it come together for once,” Goodkey said about how winning nationals has become a very memorable moment.
And what made his nationals win even more special was that Goodkey’s parents and older brother travelled down to Fredericton to watch his team play.
“It was great having my family there to support me. They have done so much for me throughout my athletic career and for them to be able to experience the national event in Fredericton with me was amazing,” Goodkey said.
“When my brother heard that we won the OUA, he instantly started looking at plane tickets to Fredericton which was very cool because he had never actually seen me curl before apart from when we have played together a few times,” he added.
While a lot of athletes face challenges and adversities, Goodkey has credited the people he’s come across through curling to helping him have a successful career.
“Not anything crazy. I’ve been pretty lucky with the people that I’ve come in contact with, with my whole life, but curling as well. Everyone has been pretty nice to me, and really helped me build as a curler,” Goodkey said.
And while curling, Goodkey has also said the people he’s met through curling have helped him grow as a player and as a person due to building relationships with them.
“Curling is a very, very nice game. Everybody that plays it is so nice, and so giving, and you really learn to respect those different things. You’ll never play a game that has as many nice people as curling does, and they’d really do anything for you,” Goodkey said.
“When we qualified for nationals, we knew we would have to pay a lot of money, we started fundraising a little bit, and its amazing how many people give back to help you try to do well, it’s really nice,” he added.
Even though the team has only come together since September, and even though Goodkey has previously played with three out of the four current team members, he believes the team has grown a lot due to what they’ve accomplished.
“Being able to do what we’ve done is amazing. Developing the connections with these guys. It’s great for us to come together that quick and have a national champion under our belt now,” Goodkey said.
For Goodkey to skip the team to the school’s first ever national title in his first year skipping the team, he feels proud of himself.
“This is my first year skipping, so, I think we’ve done pretty well for that being said. I put a lot of work in the last few years to try and get to the next level and to be able to skip the team to a national title feels really good,” Goodkey said.
And while playing for the Ravens, Goodkey has noticed how much of a family dynamic a university team really is.
“It’s really great to do school sports and it’s a lot harder than people think it is, because school is demanding for everyone, especially when you’re playing sports and working too, but it really is a family, and you get to know and you get to love everyone on your team,” Goodkey said.
Due to being in his fourth year, Goodkey is not sure if he’ll return for a fifth year next year, but if he does, he’d like to win more national events, and try to clinch a berth at the University Curling Universiade next year.
“Next year we can qualify for worlds. Worlds only happens every second year in curling, so this is an off year, so we don’t get to qualify for that, but if we were to win it again next year, then we would qualify for the World Universiade,” Goodkey said.
“Obviously, I’d like to continue curling in the foreseeable future, and hopefully continue to do great things such as win national events,” he added.
And as for the future regarding his degree at Carleton, Goodkey hopes to continue working for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for their financial department.
When he does graduate, Goodkey has said he’ll miss the relationships he has built on and off the ice.
“I’ve built connections with these guys that will last a lifetime, so, I’ll miss playing in these university events, but I’ll still be in contact with the guys and hopefully play with them again in the future. And if I don’t play with them, then I’m sure I’ll see them around and we’ll have a good time,” Goodkey said.
And if he does end up graduating this year, he believes the team will be in good hands, and has what it takes to win next year.
“If I am, and if we continue with the same team, then I have no doubt that we can do it again, especially if we play together all year and build on what we’ve accomplished,” Goodkey said.
“Even if I don’t come back, I’m more than sure that these guys can get it done again. We have so many talented curlers at this school, and I’m sure whoever would come in, would do a really good job too,” he added.