Kevin Martin gives advice to a curler during a clinic at the Whitehorse Curling Club. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Kevin Martin visits Whitehorse for curling clinics

“Any chance I get to be around him, I’ll take it”

The Whitehorse Curling Club was abuzz this weekend thanks to a visit from one of the world’s most decorated curlers of all time.

Kevin Martin — four-time Brier winner, Olympic gold medalist, World Champion, career Grand Slam winner and World Curling Hall of Famer — was in Whitehorse hosting a series of clinics for Yukon curlers from Oct. 5 to 7.

This was the third trip to the Yukon for Martin, who previously was in Whitehorse for a skins game in 1999 and a cash event in 2009.

Martin said the club in Whitehorse has a great facility.

“The club is gorgeous,” said Martin. “This is one of the nicest curling clubs in Canada because of all the hardwood and the ice conditions are fantastic. They’re pretty lucky, the curlers from here, because of the building.”

What impressed Martin, beyond the facility, was the sheer number of curlers — particularly youth curlers.

“I really like the amount of kids,” said Martin. “It’s a terrific amount of people. … It’s pretty exciting actually how many curlers there are — (it’s) very positive.”

Joining Martin on the ice during the clinics were a handful of local curlers, including 2018 Brier Team Yukon skip Thomas Scoffin who knows Martin from his time curling at the University of Alberta where Martin operates a store.

Asked if he had any tips for Scoffin, Martin laughed with his reply.

“Well I’m trying to help Thomas out,” said Martin. “We know each other very well.”

For his part, Scoffin said it’s “awesome” to share the ice with Martin.

“I mean Kevin is one of the legends of curling,” said Scoffin. “I grew up watching him, so it’s really cool to be able to share a sheet of ice with him now and to work with him and help the next generation … of curlers along with him is a privilege. It’s pretty special.”

Scoffin said it’s impossible to not pick up a tip or two being around Martin.

“He’s got so much experience and there is always something you can learn from Kevin,” said Scoffin. “Any chance I get to be around him, I’ll take it.”

With 10 clinics over two days, Martin said he didn’t have much time in the city to explore.

“I haven’t actually had a chance to do much touring, but we sure did back in ’99,” said Martin. “That was with (Don) Walchuk, Carter (Rycroft) and Don Barlett, and we travelled around and had a really good time because the skins game was only two games. We were here like five days and played two games, so we got to see the whole area and have a really good time.”

While Martin is kept busy most of the season between his work with Sportsnet in Canada and NBC in the United States, he said he tries to squeeze in a handful of weekends to run clinics like this one.

“Usually two or three, but this year four because the year after the Olympics is a bit of a slower year,” said Martin. “I’ve got more time this year so I’ve really got to enjoy it.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

A look inside Whitehorse’s operations building

A phased-in move is expected to begin in October

The wonderful world of worm compost

Worms kept in a bin under your sink can let you compost organic scraps year-round

Former board member worries Many Rivers could drown in debt

Skeeter Wright says the new board won’t be able to pay debts left by its predecessor

Record medal haul for Team Yukon at Western Canada Summer Games

Nine medals — three silver and six bronze — put the Yukon fourth in the medal standings

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Sunny skies for 2019 Rick Janowicz Long Lake Triathlon

“It was sunny and breezy — perfect temperatures — and I think people enjoyed it”

Driving with Jens: What do milk and your child’s car seat have in common?

Things have changed since kids used to sprawl across the back window of the car

YCCMA Mosquito Harescramble includes record numbers for return of ladies class

“I think it’s a good indication it’s turning to a family sport versus what it has been in the past”

Yukonomist: Fun facts for your next violent barbecue debate about government jobs

Have you ever been at a barbecue where someone starts talking loudly… Continue reading

Yukon disc golfers compete in Trilogy Challenge

“We definitely are seeing a lot of new people starting into the sport”

History Hunter: New book celebrates Yukon’s most colourful hotel

If the walls could talk, what tales they would tell. But the… Continue reading

River Trail Marathon tests runners with heat and sun

“It was very hot in the second half, but the volunteers are amazing and there is water often”

Most Read