Edmonton's two biggest curling names are taking in the action at the provincial junior championships and both offered some advice to curling's young guns. Randy Ferbey showed up at the Thistle Club Thursday. Ferbey's son Cody is almost old enough to play at the junior level.
For Ferbey, forming friendships is the most rewarding part of the game and all its benefits spin off the right chemistry.
"Find three other people you like playing with and it sort of turns into a lifelong friendship more than anything,'' said Ferbey, fresh off a win at Perth, Scotland, last weekend.
"If you win or lose is irrelevant. Winning is nice and everything, but put everything in perspective. As long as you're having fun out there, you can play the game until you're 100 years old.''
At this age, Ferbey said, there's still plenty of time to find a niche after graduating to curling's big leagues.
"Dave Nedohin played lead for a lot of years and now he's a skip,'' said Ferbey about his last-rock tosser. "Things change and people progress in this game, so don't give up on anybody too soon, especially if you're gung-ho about the game.''
Kevin Martin plans to make an appearance at the Thistle today.
"I have too many dad things to do when I'm here and that's about the only day I have free,'' said Martin, the 1985 Canadian junior champ.
Curling is at a very interesting stage of its development and the game offers many more options than it did 20 years ago.
"If there's ever a time where it's a pretty exciting time to be an athlete, it's now,'' said Martin, who's taken a more professional outlook on the game. "I would latch on to a top coach and work my butt off because the opportunities are quite vast, especially if you're looking at Europe or Asia.
"A top young curling talent now - geez you travel a lot. You can make a good living in 10 years' time.
"Never be scared to make a change and latch onto a good coach.''