“He loves his job, that’s one thing I know about Toledo. He’s the entertainer and the guy that takes care of everybody.” — Radio NL’s Jon Keen on trainer Colin “Toledo” Robinson (seen here on the visitor's bench in Victoria's Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Holy Toledo! He is good!
By Marty Hastings - Kamloops This Week
Published: March 28, 2012 2:00 PM
Updated: March 28, 2012 2:34 PM
Colin (Toledo) Robinson is the Kamloops Blazers’ trainer, but he’s a whole lot more than that.
“He’s one of those guys that everybody can talk to about anything,” Blazer forward Dylan Willick said of Robinson.
“It makes your time here so much easier. I’m not saying that it’s a tough time but, when you’re away from your family, he really makes it easy for the young guys to feel comfortable.”
Robinson’s greatest asset might be his sense of humour.
On road trips, he is the team’s official MC, broadcasting the team’s itinerary over a public-address system aboard the Blazer bus.
“I don’t shy away from doing drama-type stuff,” Robinson said.
“I really excelled in drama in school and my second love, besides what I do right now, is drama.”
Radio NL play-by-play man Jon Keen is on all Blazers road trips and he has had ample time to sample Robinson’s banter, not all of which is fit for publication.
“He loves his job, that’s one thing I know about Toledo,” Keen said.
“He’s the entertainer and the guy that takes care of everybody.”
Robinson sits at the front of the bus with the coaches and staff.
They lounge on two mattresses that sit on top of plywood.
That spot is often where the hefty trainer is at his finest.
“When he gets comfortable in his little bed there and he starts making little noises . . .. he gets real excited,” Keen said.
Robinson has carved out a role with the Blazers only he can fill.
Just ask Blazer media man Tim O’Donovan, who took over the MC duties on a recent road trip.
“The thing with Tim is these guys smell fear and they’re all over you,” Keen said of O’Donovan, his roommate on road trips.
“They felt some fear and gave it to him.”
Robinson, a WHL trainer since 1995, was hired by the Blazers in 2005.
He has always considered it his duty to provide entertainment and make the players feel comfortable.
“The important thing here is we have to remember we’re working with kids,” Robinson said.
“Kids need to have a moment of time to take a breath and realize that it’s a game, and it’s a great game, and it’s fun.”
Any Blazer fan who has shown up an hour before game time will have heard a great ruckus emanating from the bowels of Interior Savings Centre.
“The players do this pre-game warm-up where it’s almost a tribal-like warm-up session,” Keen said.
“That’s all him.
“He does a lot of things behind the scenes that not a lot of people know about, as far as some of the team-building things that go on.”
The players rave about what Robinson does for team morale — and he has no plans to stop the madness.
“It’s just kind of one of those things I’ve always done,” Robinson said.
“It’s a unique thing I can bring to the team. That’s who I am as a person.”