The changing face of curling

EDMONTON- When you look around the stands at the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier there seems to be somewhat of a trend; there are many mature faces in the crowd. However, it seems as though that trend is changing, both off and on the ice.

“When I was playing hockey when I was 19, I thought it was a boring, old person sport, but there is a lot of strategy and then also, there’s a lot of athleticism,” said 23-year-old Karrick Martin.

Karrick is playing as team Alberta’s alternate in this year’s Brier. He is the son of curling legend, and Olympic gold medallist, Kevin Martin.

However, it wasn’t the famous skip who got Karrick into curling.

“He (Kevin) actually never really pushed me too much into curling,” Karrick said. “I was a hockey player until I was 19 and it was actually a couple school friends (who) got me into a mixed league.”

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He had the opportunity to go with his dad to the Olympics in both Salt Lake City and Vancouver, which also got him interested in the game.

“It’s definitely something that’s driven me into curling at a competitive level,” Karrick said.

He’s in the early stages of his professional curling career, but Karrick has already won a number of titles with his own team.

“We won our first world curling tournament, we qualified for the men’s provincials through the Alberta Tours, we won the Alberta Tour this year, so we’ve had a lot of success.”

As a late bloomer in the sport, Karrick is now hoping to inspire more young people to get involved in the game, which some still consider a slow sport.

“It’s gotten a little bit more competitive and you really have to be athletic.. to be at the top level like these guys, and that’s getting young people to come up and try to get somewhere like this, too.”

Karrick coaches a youth league at a sports centre here in Edmonton and hopes more youth will consider picking up a broom and giving the sport a shot.

“I think it’s really working, at least in Edmonton, and you can tell by the size of the crowds.”

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With files from Shannon Greer.


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