For Danny Martell it was all about sports in high-school. You name it, he played it.
And that’s still the case for the 75-year-old, who is keeping up an active lifestyle golfing, bowling and curling.
“I just like doing them, that’s all. I’m not very good at any of them. But I enjoy doing them,” Martell said.
McKim was a high school at that time and Martell graduated from it in 1956, the same year Kimberley’s Bob Nesbitt rink — of which Martell was a member — won the BC curling Championships.
But it wasn’t just about being an athlete himself – Martell had the passion and knack for coaching others in all kinds of sports.
“I never thought about winning. I always thought that if you practice a lot and do the best you had, and then if you lost, okay, so what? You just do the best you can.”
His coaching is what has earned him the recognition for the Central Okanagan Hall of Fame.
“I think the Central Okanagan Hall of Fame started six years ago. And they started inducting people and they have four categories,” said Martell.
The categories: one team category, two athlete categories and one builder category. Martell is being inducted for his experience in coaching the 1988 Sutton Junior Women’s Curling Team.
“We won the BC championship and then we won the Canadian championship and then they had the first world junior girls championship and we were fortunate to win that – I was the coach,” Martell said.
See MARTELL, page 5
The BC and Canadian Junior Women’s titles were won in 1987 by the team. The first World Junior Women’s Championship was in 1988 in Chamonix, France.
Not only that – the team was named the BC team of the year in 1988.
The team consisted of Julie Sutton as skip, Judy Wood as 3rd, Susan Auty as 2nd, Marla Geiger as lead and, of course, Dan Martell as their coach.
“It was a team from the Okanagan. One girl was from Oliver and the other three were from Kelowna.”
“The girl from Oliver had one the Canadian Junior Championships the year before. But they didn’t have any ladies’ junior world championships then.”
But there was no denying how good the girls were, explains Martell. Other teams acknowledged it and joined forces with Julie.
“Her name is now Julie Skinner but it was Julie Sutton before.”
Their string of titles and awards is an amazing accomplishment. Since then, Martell has been coaching other star athletes, one being his son, who through the coaching of Martell has won seven blind curling national championships.
The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame Museum will be having a gala for those who have been inducted in 2013 on November 21st at the Coast Capri Hotel beginning at 7am.
Tickets for the breakfast gala will be on sale at the Kelowna Museum. For more information about the Hall of Fame you can visit http://www.kelownamuseums.ca/museums/the-central-okanagan-sports-hall-of-fame/ or you can also call Patrick Kennedy, Managing Director, at 250-215-7986.