#IAMDYNAMITE’s Carly Agro Q&A
Meet Carly Agro, a vivacious and charismatic sports broadcaster from Toronto and our third profile for #IAMDYNAMITE– an inspiring movement showcasing hard-working women following their dreams. Now a successful full-time on-air personality for Sportsnet Central, Carly is living her dream in a world unlike any other: sports television. Her story is the perfect reflection of women, persevering and driven.
A woman working in sports is not an easy accomplishment. How have you dealt with some of the challenges in this male-dominated industry?
One day I’m going to wake up and go to work and I won’t be asked this question anymore. One day all of the women, the men, and everyone in between, including myself who are a part of this ‘sports’ thing are going to be asked about the challenges they’ve faced in their industry, and their gender won’t be a part of the question.
But I understand where this question comes from and why I’m asked the same one so often.
Yes, I’ve had men, mostly young men who were just starting their careers like me, treat me differently because ‘I’m a girl.’ Not showing me their shortcuts, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to correct me and saying nasty things about me behind my back were all real situations. But I thank them; they made me better. They forced me to work harder, prepare better and ultimately help me become a better person and a better journalist/broadcaster.
You’ve expressed interest in careers as a veterinarian, lawyer or working in politics. What helped you make the decision of what path to go down?
I like to think that sometimes in life you find your passion, other times, it finds you. In my case, the latter is true. Someone I look up to coined the phrase, ‘ahha moment,’ and I was lucky to have one of those shortly after I graduated and I’m thankful that my family and friends always encouraged me to go after what I wanted.
Being on TV, do you often get recognized? Have you had any interesting fan encounters?
I really don’t get recognized that often (kudos to our talented make up artists!) But when I do, it reminds me how lucky I am to do what I do.
I’ve always been a firm believer in sports and it’s ability to bring people together. Sometimes it’s in line at Starbucks waiting for my tea, when someone asks me about the Canucks final roster and all of their young talent, or sometimes it’s at the deli counter in the grocery store, and someone wants to know if I think David Price will get into Game 5 or not.
(When you have it) what’s your favorite thing to do on your downtime?
I love to get outside. Whether it’s running, hiking, or just walking around my vibrant neighborhood in Queen West, Toronto. I miss playing soccer so much so I’ve taken up yoga pretty seriously and hitting the gym helps me get my fix.
Tell us about your soccer scholarship in the United States. How was your experience going to school in the U.S.?
I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
There were days where I wanted to quit and come home, where I wondered if all the 5am wake up calls and practices three times a day was really worth it, but it made me who I am, and I met two of my best friends in the whole world while I was there.
Since you’re traveling across Canada often for work, what’s one of your favorite cities?
I adore St. John’s, Newfoundland. Canada’s East Coast and its people are a national treasure that I think get overlooked far too often. The warm and welcoming atmosphere, the scenery, and the bright and colorful neighborhoods make me feel like I’ve lived their my whole life and could stay forever. Don’t get me started on their fish and chips and craft beer!
You have a twin sister in a similar job as you. Does it get competitive at times? Do you ever get to work together?
My sister Charlsie is a super star at CBC, there isn’t anything she hasn’t reported on and no story she can’t tell. We’re each other’s number one fans and I think we’re also each other’s harshest critics. We know how to push each other and we know how to support one another when we need it.
By complete accident and pure serendipity we worked in the same building for about two and a half years…and yes, every once in a while we would appear on News Network during the same show. I think it confused the anchors more than the viewers sometimes!
We heard you’re engaged! Congrats!!! How do you balance your busy career, wedding planning and your relationship?
Thank you, it’s still sinking in!
My fiance is actually one of the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing professionally. We met back in journalism school and after all the moves, all the cities, all the jobs and the ups and downs he was always there for me, encouraging me and reminding me why I was doing what I was doing.
I’m lucky that sports are a big part of both our lives and we enjoy spending time together watching, attending or talking about the most recent big game or big story. If I can keep working wedding planning talk into a round of golf we’re going to be just fine!
What advice do you have for women aspiring to work in sports or broadcasting?
How long do I have here??? Just kidding. But I could write a book on this.
I want to say don’t give up but that’s not enough. You can’t give up, you have to be ready to work for peanuts, step outside your comfort zone, make mistakes, and most importantly learn from them. And whatever you do, don’t try and sound, look, or be like someone else. No one is going to be a better version of yourself than you are. Sure, look up to people, learn from what they do and how they do it, but give the people watching you some credit, they can tell if you’re faking it.
That being said: Know your stuff.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?
I just hope ten years from now I’m still waking up excited to go work and I’m still proud of the stories I’m telling.
How do you describe your personal style?
After 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year of hair and make up, I like to keep it simple as often as I can.
Jeans and I usually aren’t friends, I like my soccer legs, so I thank the boyfriend jean inventor. I spent a lot of time in Maryland so I’m into a nautical look in the summertime, but Fall is my favorite season. Boyfriend jeans, a comfy sweater and top notch scarf game with my vintage find leather jacket are my go to’s.
I am Dynamite because: I go with my gut.
Favorite sport to watch: Hockey, football, and Blue Jays post-season baseball. (Sorry I can’t pick just one!)
Favorite sports team: I’ve been known to say Oskee Wee Wee, Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Favorite Canadian athlete: Alexandre Bilodeau.
First job: Host, Ticats TV
TV show you’re obsessed with right now: I can’t believe I’m admitting this, Say Yes to the Dress. I’ve got a wedding to plan!
Dream city to live in: I love T.O. !
Guilty pleasure: Making fun of Jamie Thomas, my co-host.
What item can always be found in your purse: Green gum, it must be green!
Describe yourself in one word: Ambitious.