Local curler wins prestigious Shorty Jenkins Award

Curler Heather Heggestad (left in photo), who is originally from Gore Bay, received the Shorty Jenkins Sportsmanship Award at the Ontario Scotties championships last week.

COBOURG—Heather Heggestad, whose rink qualified and competed in the Ontario Scotties championships last week, received a very prestigious award at the provincials.

Ms. Heggestad received the Shorty Jenkins Sportsmanship Award. “It was very unexpected,” she told the Recorder. “It’s a sportsmanship award in Shorty’s memory, voted on by all the curlers at provincials,”

“I’m very honoured to have received this award,” said Ms. Heggestad. “Shorty Jenkins was a well-known ice maker who always wore a pink hat, and was well known and very well respected in the curling community,” she noted.

Clarence W. Shorty Jenkins was 77 when he passed away in 2013. His biography explains he was a famous ice technician in the sport of curling. He was known for his trademark pink cowboy hat, pink leather jacket and pink cowboy boots.

Born in Hanna, Alberta and raised in an orphanage in Victoria, British Columbia, Mr. Jenkins served in the Canadian Air Force from the age of 17. He would be posted in Germany and in Canada to do various military jobs. He eventually left the military to work with Sunoco. That wouldn’t last, and Mr. Jenkins convinced the curling club in Trenton, Ontario to take him on as ice maker. He wanted to be an ice maker after noting how terrible the ice was at the 1974 provincial championships he was competing in.

One trend Shorty started in curling was that of timing rocks. He used his idea to judge how good the ice was. He claimed he was the only person who could “choose and match rocks for major championships,” his biography reads. He refused to do the ice of a tournament without choosing the rocks for it. Jenkins kept video tapes of the tournaments he had done to see what the television announcers were saying about his ice.

Ms. Heggestad, who is originally from Gore Bay, is the only rookie skip in the Ontario Scotties tournament.