Kim Daugherty, A Chatham-Kent Athlete Who Came baCK

Chatham-Kent sends athletes across Ontario, Canada, and the globe each year to compete athletically. Sponsored by baCK to Chatham-Kent, we’ll be featuring local athletes who have left Chatham-Kent, and are now baCK, living, working, and staying connected to our own vibrant sports community in CK.

This week, we feature Dresden’s Kim Daugherty.

Kim Daugherty grew up in Thamesville, before playing University hockey for York University.

Now, she is baCK living and working in Chatham-Kent.

Here are Kim’s responses to our baCK to Chatham-Kent athletes interview:

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Thamesville, Ontario until I left for University.  I went to public school in Thamesville until Grade 8 and then was bussed to Dresden from Grade 9-13.  I played every school sport in public school: soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track & field.  In track & field I was the overall champion in all events for 3 years.  I also played girl’s hockey outside of school.  I played for Bothwell, Dresden, and Chatham girl’s hockey.

2. What is your favourite Chatham-Kent pastime?

My favourite Chatham-Kent past was playing travel hockey.  I also had the opportunity to try out for travel soccer at the time but I had to work all summer to pay for my school clothes, gas for my car to play sports, saving for University, and for spending money.  The awesome part of living in the Chatham-Kent area was the opportunities to play a variety of sports at all levels…it was just what you were willing to strive for and commit to.  I loved to keep busy and sports was a great avenue for me to keep active. Chatham-Kent employment opportunities for young adults were also endless that would help me pay gas for my car, drive to school sports, play travel hockey, and save for post secondary education.  I had a job that was year round at the local grocery store in Thamesville and in the summer I would pick up full time work and then work the grocery store Thursday to Saturday.

3. What did you do after high school?

This dedication to hard work taught me time management at a young age.  When I was playing travel hockey for Chatham we had a hockey tournament in Brampton.  This is where I was observed for my hockey skills.  I was invited to try out for York University Women’s hockey the following year.  This was exciting and very scary at the same time.  I am a small town girl from Thamesville going to Toronto to try out for girls hockey.  What a dream that was back in the 1980’s. There were no training instructors, no specialty coaches back then….just you and your skills trying to figure out what to practice.  That is where my high school sweetheart, and currently my husband Brent came in because he was playing OHL hockey at the time to give me tips.  I also played all sports, not just hockey 12 months out of the year which I believe developed more skills and strength.  To keep this short, I made the team.  We traveled all over for tournaments.  Montreal was amazing.  I remember getting my hat trick there.  We won the entire University OUAA Varsity Hockey League and then flew to Boston to play against the University of New Hampshire ( which was supposed to be the top team in USA, at the time).  This was out of this world for a small town girl of 1000 population to be flying around to play a sport she started out in Bothwell.  We were recognized by the Mayor of the City of York for our accomplishments.  At the age of 53 now, it is still one of my proudest accomplishments.  I was the only rookie and they asked me to be the Captain of the Women’s team the following year.

4. What are you doing now?

I am currently working at high school as an Office Administration Secretary.  I moved back to Chatham-Kent to live after my schooling.

5. What has made you happiest, or been the best surprise about moving baCK to Chatham-Kent?

What has made me the happiest about moving back to Chatham-Kent is my family and the job opportunities to achieve my highest level of success in my work environment field.  I love Dresden because this small town has given my family the ability to play all the various sports and for my career to reach my highest potential in my career. 

6. What would you tell someone who is considering living in Chatham-Kent? And why did you choose to move baCK to Chatham-Kent?

I highly recommend to anyone to come back to Chatham-Kent for employment, housing, recreation, and because it is a safe environment to raise a family. I love living in Chatham-Kent (Dresden) because I could drive north, south, east, or west within 1 hour and move my way up the ladder in my job because I was never limited to career enhancement because of where I lived.  I was able to pursue work in the Medical Administration in a hospital, doctor’s office, Elementary Schools and currently Secondary School.  My family has been able to stay active in our sports which is a passion of ours.  My son has played every sport in public school and was on a swim team and in high school he has won Kent High School Soccer Championship, SWOSSA Volleyball Championship, OMHA Midget hockey championship, and OMBA baseball championship.  He has learnt what hard work, dedication, and teamwork can help you accomplish.  My son has also worked since Grade 7 in various job opportunities as a teenager and then young adult in corn fields, refereed hockey, umpired baseball, shovelling manure on a Mink farm, labourer at the local Parks Blueberry farm, and worked for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent as a student. My son has also gone to College and had the opportunity to live at home and drive back and forth from home as he chose and also had a home with friends while at College but home was never far away as he chose.  Later he also earned an apprenticeship for Tool and Die while working. There are just so many opportunities for success for our young adults in Chatham-Kent.  
I just couldn’t say enough about Chatham-Kent.  As my parents age the nursing homes that grandparents and now parents are in are beautiful, clean, friendly and organized.  There are many to choose from.  The medical specialists that we have in this area are well educated, young, and many of them grew up in the area and came back as doctors to our area.  That alone should speak volumes. Also, there are a variety of churches in the area and church involvement activities that families could engage with.

8. Describe your current sports involvement?

My husband and I believe in paying it forward.  We both were so blessed to travel all over Ontario, Canada, and the United States with our passion so when we came back to Chatham-Kent of all the places we have travelled we knew we wanted to share our life lessons somehow.  I coached High School girl’s hockey for a couple of years, my husband and I ran a power skating school together every Friday for young kids wanting to sharpen their hockey skills for free, I managed Dresden Girl’s hockey team, I managed boys AA hockey team in Chatham Kent, I coached little league boys’ soccer,  I coached a Jump Rope travelling team (for Heart and Stroke), and my husband and I have ran for fundraiser’s like . Terry Fox runs, 5 km, 10 km races. My husband has run half marathons, a full marathon, and triathlons.  I coordinated the Breakfast Program for years at High School and currently donate to the Dresden Food Bank.  My husband and I currently love boating and kayaking.  With all the beautiful waterways around us, it is just a matter of what we want to do that day, kayak at Rondeau, Pinery, Shetland, Sydenham River, or go boating.  The opportunities are endless.

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