June 06, 2012
Olympic gold medalists Kevin Martin and Adam Enright recipients of NAIT alumni awards
Olympic curling gold medalists Kevin Martin and Adam Enright are the recipients of NAIT’s 2011 alumni awards, which recognize the accomplishments of alumni who have contributed to the institute or the community.
“Our NAIT family of alumni epitomizes what it means to be relevant and responsive in an ever-changing work environment – provincially, nationally and internationally,” says NAIT President and CEO, Dr. Glenn Feltham. “Graduates the world over can reflect on the positive influence of NAIT in professional careers and personal development. This year we acknowledge the accomplishments of two alumni who succeeded in the classroom and became champions on the ice. Congratulations Kevin and Adam.”
Martin (Petroleum Engineering Technology – 1987) is the recipient of the 2011 Alumni Award of Distinction, which recognizes and outstanding accomplishments of NAIT alumni who have earned prominence within a profession and contributed significant service to NAIT or the community.
“It is a great honour to receive this award,” said Martin. “As a young person you come to NAIT full of energy but without a lot of know how. NAIT supplied me with the knowledge and ability to pursue and achieve lifelong dreams.”
Enright (Petroleum Engineering Technology – 2004) is the recipient of the 2011 Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of alumni early in their careers (within 12 years of graduating from NAIT).
“I am extremely honoured to receive the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award,” said Enright. “I have many fond memories of my two years spent at NAIT. Curling coach Jules Owchar runs a very successful program that I am very thankful to have been a part of.”
The awards will be presented at a private alumni recognition event this evening.
Martin has become one of the most dominant skips in the world of curling. He is an Olympic gold and silver medalist in the sport, as well as a world champion, four-time Brier champion and 10-time provincial champion. Martin is the honourary chairperson of Alberta’s Hec Gervais Academic & Curling Scholarship Fund, which awards annual scholarships to help young curlers expand and refine their curling abilities and accomplishments.
Enright achieved a significant milestone in 2002 won the Alberta Junior Championship as the third for Justin Jacobsen. In 2006, he played at the Players’ Championships as the lead for the Kevin Martin team. Team Martin brought Enright back in 2008 to be their alternate for the Tim Hortons Brier and the World Men’s Championships, taking the gold in both competitions. Enright was part of Martin’s team that captured gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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Kevin Martin – 2011 Alumni Award of Distinction recipient
Business Owner, Olympic Gold Medalist
Petroleum Engineering Technology (1987)
In 1984, Edmonton’s Kevin Martin showed up at curling coach Jules Owchar’s office and asked to play for NAIT. A few practices later, Martin, a student in NAIT’s Petroleum Engineering Technology program, was playing skip for the NAIT Ooks men’s curling team.
The following year, Martin burst onto the curling scene when he won the Canadian Junior Championships. His partnership with Owchar remains one of the most successful coach-player relationships in curling history, and, today, Martin is one of the world’s top curlers. In fact, he is number one, hands down, according to a list in The Black Book of Curling (Dallas Bittle and Gerry Geurts). With 17 Grand Slam championships, Martin is also the top money winner on the professional tour.
Martin strives for the highest level of performance at all times. Standing by these principles, he has become one of the most dominant skips in the world of curling. An Olympic gold and silver medalist, Martin is also a world champion, four-time Brier champion and 10-time provincial champion.
Impelled to share his success with the next generation of Canadian curlers, Martin operates the Kevin Martin Curling Academy, which offers on-ice and classroom sessions to young curlers. Furthermore, the Kevin Martin Junior Bonspiel, the largest junior event of its kind, provides participants with both competitive and recreational aspects of curling.
Martin is also the honorary chairperson of Alberta’s Hec Gervais Academic & Curling Scholarship Fund, which awards an annual scholarship to help a male and female junior curler pay for secondary school education. The award reflects legendary curler Hec Gervais’ belief in a strong education, competitiveness and community leadership. Martin’s success is proof that he, too, champions these values.
Adam Enright – 2011 Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award recipient
Business Owner, Olympic Gold Medalist
Petroleum Engineering Technology (2004)
Born and raised in Rosalind, Alberta, Adam Enright grew up working on the family farm and helping out in his local community. He participated in an array of sports including hockey, volleyball, and basketball, but curling stood out as his one great love.
Between the time he began his curling career to when he first enrolled at NAIT, Enright had already achieved a tremendous milestone; in 2002, he won the Alberta Junior Championship as the third for Justin Jacobsen. This of course, was just the beginning for Enright. During his time at NAIT, Enright studied Petroleum Engineering Technology and welcomed the opportunity to learn from Jules Owchar, a leading technical curling coach.
After NAIT, Enright continued playing for such skips as Chris Schille, Charley Thomas and Mark Johnson. In 2006, he played at the Players’ Championships as the lead for the Kevin Martin team. Team Martin brought Enright back in 2008 to be their alternate for the Tim Hortons Brier and the World Men’s Championships, taking the gold in both competitions. The team went on to the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials where they won the opportunity to play at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Enright, Martin and Marc Kennedy, along with lead Ben Hebert and third John Morris, captured the gold medal in men’s curling at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Enright curled the past year as third on the Tom Appelman rink, and Owchar continues to be a mentor.
When asked about the secret to his success, Enright advises people to follow their passion, to set goals and to work hard to reach them.