Duddy, a fixture as a photographer at CGA sporting events, to receive Good Sport Award
Paul Duddy began with one game.
Having taken up photography as a hobby, he attended the homecoming football game at the Coast Guard Academy one season and took pictures. Then a resident of New York, Duddy returned to New London and handed out the photographs.
It has been 13 seasons for Duddy, who now, along with his wife Maggie, resides in Mystic.
"Every year I kind of added another sport," Duddy said. "I started with softball. Then they said, 'Can you do graduation?' 'Can you do Swab Summer?' I just kept adding and adding and adding. I loved the opportunity getting to share with them. Parents who live in California or Hawaii are delighted to see their kids.
"People say, 'When are you going to stop doing this?' Never. To be able to give (the cadets) and their parents something they cherish ... I love being around the kids. If someone says, 'That's a great shot, could I have that file?' I send them what they want."
Duddy, who has become synonymous with his photographs of the Coast Guard Academy — he has a Facebook page filled with thousands of them — will be honored by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance on April 26 with the Alliance's John Wentworth Good Sport Award.
Duddy is a past recipient of Coast Guard's Spirit of the Bear Award, which "highlights the belief that leader development is a team effort; the winners have shown a great deal of dedication mentoring cadets and officer candidates."
He was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Super Fan of the Month in April, 2017, and Duddy even has the distinction of presenting his own honors at Coast Guard's senior awards banquet. He bestows the Paul Duddy Awards to one senior male and one senior female who best represent Coast Guard athletics on and off the field.
Duddy, 70, attended the Coast Guard Academy and played football for two years. Instead, he changed career paths, landing as a social studies teacher and head track/assistant football coach over 33 years in Clarkstown, N.Y.
"When I first started, I was commuting to Connecticut to New York and back," Duddy said. "My wife said, 'We've got to find something a little closer.' We got a place in Mystic. At first it was just weekends, then just three days a week, then just four days a week. She retired last year and now we're full time in Mystic."
Duddy will be honored at the CSWA's 79th Gold Key Dinner, to be held at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The dinner begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $75 and may be reserved by contacting Alliance president Tim Jensen at email@example.com.
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