Team Anderson’s Martin set to open curling bubble double with Scotties debut

Click to play video: 'Nancy Martin making debut at Scotties with Team Anderson'
Nancy Martin making debut at Scotties with Team Anderson
WATCH: Saskatoon's Team Anderson will represent Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and for third Nancy Martin, it's been a long time coming – Feb 3, 2021

It’s a longstanding tradition that Saskatchewan’s provincial women’s curling champions are presented with new team jackets to be worn in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

For many players, putting on those green jackets for the first time is when the magnitude of what they’ve accomplished truly starts to sink in.

But with this year’s playdowns cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was no trophy ceremony and no jacket presentation, leaving the members of Sherry Anderson’s Saskatoon-based team, this year’s Scotties representatives, to celebrate at home.

Still, the honour is no less special for the team’s third, Nancy Martin, who will be making her Scotties debut.

“The call from my daughter was a big one. My son was here with me and they know how hard I’ve been working for this so it’s pretty exciting,” she said.

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Team Anderson was selected by CurlSask to go to the Scotties based on its low lineup turnover and consistent performance over the course of the 2019-20 season and in the few events it played during the current season before curling activities were suspended across the province in November.

The team played in the last two provincial finals, making the selection all the more sweet for Martin.

“We’ve been that close, not quite there, so this is super exciting for us. It’s a strange way to learn that you’re going but we’re excited nonetheless,” she said.

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The Scotties kicks off a busy few weeks for Martin, who will also compete in her eighth Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship in March. Both events are being staged in a bubble at the Markin McPhail Centre in Calgary.

Martin and doubles partner Tyrel Griffith were finalists in 2019, the last time the national championship was held.

“We’ve been quite successful so far together and I just feel quite honoured and privileged to be playing with such an amazing teammate,” she said.

Despite her experience at the national level, which includes a second silver medal from the inaugural Canadian championship in 2013, the Scotties is a different animal altogether.

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The event is nationally televised and is seen as the crown jewel of women’s curling in Canada, and even the most experienced curler could be forgiven for having some rookie jitters.

That’s why Martin is glad to have Anderson on her side. The skip is making her 10th appearance at the national championship.

“I’ve been in a few instances with Sherry already where the tension is pretty high and she really just has that calming demeanour and it’s very black and white for her. Just get in the hack and make the shot, hit the broom, throw the right weight, and she really just simplifies it for us,” Martin said.

Anderson acknowledges that her Scotties experience is an asset for the team but she also believes that Martin, second Chaelynn Kitz and lead Breanne Knapp will be able to handle the spotlight regardless.

“You hope that it helps but I don’t know. Bottom line, it still boils down to each individual curler and how they react to the situation and none of them are rookies at high-level competition,” Anderson said.

While playing in a fan-free bubble isn’t quite how she envisioned her first Scotties experience, Martin is just grateful for the opportunity. She believes Curling Canada has done everything possible to create a safe environment and she’s looking forward to hitting the ice in Calgary.

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“It’s kind of the best case that we can do and I think for a lot of people, not having their favourite sport to watch on TV, it’s going to give something new for people to do,” she said.

And some new green-jacketed players to root for.

Click to play video: 'Team Sherry Anderson preparing for pandemic Scotties'
Team Sherry Anderson preparing for pandemic Scotties

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