Thursday, November 19, 2009

Martin's Battle of the Blades

We must admit, we were having fun with this headline.

"How about: Martin traded to Storm... for Goldline brush and and bag of Chee-tos?"

You know, that sort of thing.

But on to the story.

In advance of his appearance at The National in January, the second Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event of the season, Kevin Martin made a series of promotional appearances in the Guelph, Ontario area earlier this week.

Martin started with a Monday morning trip to a curling club he has visited before. It was the KW Granite Club in Waterloo, the host venue of two TV Skins Games held earlier this decade.

Martin stepped into a club game to call an end and throw a couple of stones (he stole a point). He then answered an unending stream of questions from club members and autographed pictures and brooms.

According to the Waterloo Record, his best story was on the eccentricities of third John Morris. Morris once showed up for a Brier morning draw with an incredibly wrinkled, squashed team jacket. Fearing Morris’s dishevelled appearance was due a late night, the Alberta skip was relieved and amused to hear that Morris had this particular jacket rush-mailed to him from home in an superstitious effort to snap a shooting slump. It worked.

On Tuesday morning, “The Old Bear” dropped by the June Avenue Public School in Guelph, meeting approximately 60 Grade 5 and 6 students to discuss the importance of hard work, and staying focused to achieving goals.

Later that afternoon, Martin laced up his skates to become a Guelph Storm hockey “Player for a Day.”
The 2008 world champion met with Storm players at the Sleeman Centre, site of The National, to provide a motivational address. Afterward, Martin hit the ice with the team and took part in the club’s preliminary practice drills… and even scored a goal (TCN photo by Anil Mungal).

“It was an absolute blast,” Martin told The Curling News. “The guys were real friendly. It was fun to get hockey equipment on for the first time since 1982.

“The biggest message I was trying to get across was believing in themselves. Everyone at this level is good enough to do it. Only the ones that believe deep down they can do it will succeed.”

The Edmonton skip concluded his Ontario spin with a trip to the Guelph Curling Club on Tuesday night. There was another on-ice tutorial session, this time with players from the local Guelph high school league, followed by a meet and greet autograph session with club members, and Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge.

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