Todd & Trixie Hennig
“It’s a Grandma’s job…”
It was April of 2014 and we had just returned from a Spring Break Family vacation in Hawaii. The phone rang and my mom declared, “Kevin Martin announced his retirement while we were away.” My immediate reply was, “You’re telling him. Not me. That’s a Grandma job!”
Hours later, after the school pick up, I told our eldest that Grandma wanted to talk to him. The phone was retrieved and numbers dialed. After pleasantries and a pause of silence, tears flowed and our seven year old ran to his room, where he stayed sobbing for the next hour. You see, our oldest had already grown up watching a lot of curling with his newly retired grandparents, who took up watching the sport in the winter. Our family has never curled and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the sport. Austin would be at the screen pointing out where the rocks should go and strategizing the next move. Often, his efforts were rewarded with a “Sit down! We can’t see.”
It was at this moment that we thought curling was a great sport to pursue, as our son’s sports idol was a respectable, hard-working, dedicated, middle-aged, bald guy (sorry, Mr. Martin).
Fast forward to Austin’s 10th birthday when he wanted his first “real” curling broom as a gift. (As non-curlers, we now can’t believe what we sent him to his Little Rocks program with.) We drove from our home in Chestermere, AB to the Kevin Martin Curling store in Edmonton, AB so he could buy his first broom from his curling hero’s own store. It was a really special day and one I am reminded of often as Austin now trains at the Saville.
Fast forward to the Leduc Club Championships in 2019 and we got to meet Mr. Martin in person for the first time. My husband and son mustered the courage, introduced themselves and told Kevin the story. A hearty laugh was shared, handshakes exchanged and a photo snapped.
Fast forward to summer of 2022, when Austin had the opportunity to attend the Kevin Martin Curling Academy with his curling team, after not curling during COVID. He mused one day on the way home, “I never thought that Kevin Martin would ever be holding the broom for me. I missed all my shots!” At the end of the Camp, as my husband walked our son out the doors, they heard over the crowd, “Good luck, Austin!” Yes, the voice was Kevin Martin’s.
That is why curling is truly an amazing sport!