This is part of an ongoing series of profiles to highlight the achievements of Sheridan's varsity student athletes academically and competitively. To view the rest of the Student Athlete Spotlight profiles, click here.
IT ISN’T OFTEN that life hands you the opportunity for synergy; when moments, decisions, and experiences align harmoniously. But in the case of Dara Killoran (Bachelor of Athletic Therapy), the trajectory she set for herself was always designed to follow a specific path.
"My primary career goal would be to travel with a very highly-skilled rugby team and possibly open up my own clinic," she says.
In preparing for her desired career, the benefits of hands-on experience gained during multiple field placements - as she would get in Sheridan's Athletic Therapy program - can't be understated. That she is able to take her experience one step further by being a prominent member of the women's rugby team, makes it even more relevant.
A native of Cobourg, Ont. Killoran came to Sheridan because she loved the campus and it offered one of the best athletic therapy programs in the country. A four-year veteran of the Cobourg Saxson's club team, Killoran was also a member of the Toronto Rugby Union East U17 team that won the bronze medal in the 2016 Ontario Summer Games.
In her rookie campaign with the Bruins last season, she led the team and was eighth in league scoring with 71 points on nine tries, along with 13 conversions - the third most in the OCAA. Although Sheridan has only been playing in a 7's format for two year, all three statistical entries represent team records.
For her efforts, she was not only named an OCAA All-Star, but also received the coaches award at the annual athletic banquet in April. On the rugby pitch she has learned that a team is only as strong as each of its members and that trust is a prerequisite for success, while in the classroom she's learned that a big part of trust is understanding that missteps will happen occassionally.
"The biggest thing I've learned in the classroom is that being wrong on something is ok,” she says. “It teaches us how to learn from our mistakes."
In the OCAA rugby 7’s format, teams play multiple games in a day at a specific host site with the results accumulating in season-long standings as opposed to declaring a one-day tournament winner. If all goes well, Killoran and her team will open and close their season on home turf, as they begin the regular season in Oakville on Sept. 22 and are co-hosting the championship tournament on Nov. 3.
If that proves to be the case, it will be just one more synergy for Killoran in a career that is starting to be defined by them.