CORNWALL, Ontario – In early December, 29-year-old Mat Camm of Cornwall and his curling team Epping claimed the coveted Canada Curling Cup and a 2020 Olympic Trial spot.
The local athlete’s team was favoured to continue their winning streak during the 2019-2020 season as they quickly climbed to the top of the world curling rankings, having won two bonspiel titles early on; one of them was the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Cornwall.
Camm, who is considered the face of curling in Cornwall, has played on John Epping’s ice for the past four years. With the recent edition of a new teammate, Ryan Fry, Camm recently took on the role of playing second for the first time. In curling, the second is the person who delivers the second pair of stones and will typically sweep for each teammate. This position requires a high degree of proficiency throwing takeouts, peels and other power shots.
“It’s been a good change and I’m excited about playing a new position. It’s a bit different, I’m a little more tired with all the sweeping,” said Camm about his success in his new role, in a press release. “I’m the last person to talk to John (before he throws). It’s been fun.”
Camm’s father introduced him to curling at the age of five and his passion for the sport only continued to blossom from there. Now, Camm has big wins under his hat at the junior and men’s level as well as Olympic aspirations.
“Growing up I wasn’t really aggressive enough and I never really took to other team sports,” he recalled in a press release. “But this (curling) was just me. I could control everything. I sort of got addicted and it took off from there.”
In January 2020, Cornwall will be hosting the 2020 Ontario Curling Championships. Camm, alongside team Epping, are set to return among the top men and women in the sport across the province.
“You get to wake up in your own bed and you’re excited playing on your own ice,” said Camm in a press release. “It’s nice to have the hometown advantage.”
Team Epping are regulars at the Shorty Jenkins Classic event each fall at the Cornwall Curling Centre. But now, the Civic Complex will be the site of the competition, with the arena ice being transformed into curling sheets for the weeklong event – something that hasn’t happened in over 30 years.
“It should be a great tournament,” said Camm in a press release. “I think it will be great playing in an arena. The fans will be right out there with us and they’ll be able to hear us during the action.”
The 2020 Ontario Curling Championships will be held from Monday, Jan. 27 to Sunday, Feb. 2 and are expected to draw many supporters.
The championship will see the top eight men’s and women’s teams compete to see who will represent Ontario at the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Full tournament passes are available for $140 and they can be purchased at the Civic Complex Box Office (100 Water St. East) from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can also be purchased online here.
As of December 1, single day passes will be available for $30 and weekend passes will be available for $75. Single draw passes will also be available at the door during the championship for $15.