Shift in fo­cus

Cor­ner Brook’s Matt Hunt putting com­pet­i­tive curl­ing on hold with work ca­reer now a pri­or­ity

The Western Star - - SPORTS - BY DAVE KEARSEY david.kearsey@thewest­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_S­port­sDesk

Matt Hunt got a chance to play at the 2018 Brier against the best curlers in the coun­try as a mem­ber of the Greg Smith four­some out of the ReMax Cen­tre in St. John’s.

The Smith four­some rep­re­sented New­found­land and Labrador at the Brier af­ter win­ning the pro­vin­cial men’s curl­ing cham­pi­onship with no Brad Gushue in the pic­ture be­cause his rink had al­ready earned a berth in the fi­nal as the Cana­dian cham­pion.

Gushue’s four­some earned an au­to­matic berth in the 2019 Brier as Team Canada so this will leave the door wide open for some­body else to rep­re­sent New­found­land and Labrador on the na­tional stage this time around.

Hunt, a 27-year-old Cor­ner Brook na­tive, is still throw­ing stones a cou­ple of nights a week in St. John’s, but it’s more about hav­ing fun do­ing some­thing he loves than it is about be­ing im­mersed in the sport and bent on achiev­ing suc­cess on a big stage.

He has de­cided it’s time to put his com­pet­i­tive curl­ing ca­reer on hold while he finds his way in the work­ing world. Armed with a mas­ter’s de­gree in physics and a bach­e­lor of sci­ence joint de­gree in math­e­mat­ics and physics, Hunt is be­tween jobs and could be head­ing for the main­land to se­cure a job so his time at the curl­ing rink will be min­i­mal.

He was com­mit­ted to a hec­tic curl­ing sched­ule for the past num­ber of years, but he can no longer punch the time he would need to be at the top of his game so he will try to get used to a week with­out the broom in hand de­spite the fact he would have loved an­other shot at go­ing to the Brier to rep­re­sent his prov­ince.

“I would cer­tainly love to, but I have to get my whole work life set­tled out first so I kind of had to take a step back this year,” he said.

Hunt said doesn’t know what the fu­ture holds, but he plans on throw­ing stones when he can so he doesn’t lose the edge that helped him be­come one of the top young curlers in the prov­ince.

He hopes to find his way to back to the hack.

“I’m just go­ing to try and keep sharp for the fu­ture,” he said.

JOE GIB­BONS/WEST­ERN STAR FILE PHOTO

Matthew Hunt is shown here com­pet­ing with Greg Smith’s rink in the 2018 New­found­land and Labrador Tankard.

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