Having a Tonn of fun with the Caps

Abbotsford native Cortlin Tonn scores job as residency program equipment manager

Abbotsford's Cortlin Tonn checks out the scenery at Seattle's CenturyLink field during a Whitecaps road trip.

Abbotsford's Cortlin Tonn checks out the scenery at Seattle's CenturyLink field during a Whitecaps road trip.

A volunteer job turned into a dream career for Abbotsford’s Cortlin Tonn.

At the age of 14, Tonn gave up his free time to work as a stick boy for the Abbotsford Heat. Just a few years later, the 2014 MEI grad is the equipment manager for the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program.

“It’s been very exciting for me,” he said. “To actually get paid doing something you love is amazing.”

Tonn, 19, said it was those initial connections with the Heat that helped open many doors into the sports world. He began taking on more responsibilities with the Heat and even was called up to help with the parent club in Calgary.

“The sports world is very connected,” he said. “I got to know the Vancouver Canucks training staff and when they learned about the Whitecaps opportunity they helped me make that connection.”

Tonn works primarily with the Whitecaps FC residency, which helps develop young players U16 and U18. The training facility in Burnaby helps prepare players for a future in soccer and also has given Tonn the opportunity to grow as a trainer.

He typically works Monday to Friday in Burnaby, making sure equipment is maintained, locker rooms are spotless and players have everything they need.

Tonn also works games on the weekends and helps out with the Whitecaps’ first team during their home games at BC Place.

“During the game we clean up the locker room and make sure everything is spic and span,” he said. “But we’re also watching the game and paying attention to what’s needed at all times. Sometimes we need to clean blood off of a jersey or put a pinnie (vest) on a player that has subbed out. It’s really neat to be that close to that type of atmosphere.”

Tonn also works on pre-game requirements, such as preparing the numbers, names and crests on jerseys and making sure the benches and locker rooms are ready.

“We want everything to be set up professionally so that the players don’t have to worry about anything you just want them to play the game,” he said.

He said his career highlight was the first time he stepped onto the pitch at BC Place earlier this year. Another memorable moment was when Tonn worked behind the bench for the Calgary Flames when they played the Canucks in Vancouver during last year’s pre-season.

“Seeing my parents banging on the glass right behind me in the crowd was a pretty cool moment,” he said.

Tonn said he’s working his dream job and wants to stay involved in sports for the rest of his life.

“I love going to work every morning and every day is different,” he said. “It’s a great honour to work for such an amazing organization like the Whitecaps.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lakeland Flowers officially opened on April 14 and the U-pick flower farm has been attracting a lot of attention online. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers blooming for spring

U-pick tulip flower farm generating significant buzz online after opening this month

The charitable organization Mamas for Mamas is hoping to expand its services in Abbotsford. (Photo by Ratna Fitry from Pixabay)
National charity Mamas for Mamas looks to expand services in Abbotsford

Organization supports moms and caregivers facing struggles

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A recent virtual gala raised $150,000 for Abbotsford Hospice Society and its Holmberg House. (Abbotsford Hospice Society photo)
Abbotsford Hospice’s Light Up the Night gala raises almost $150K

Virtual event included pre-show drive-thru pickup of farm-fresh meals

Matthew Balogh was last seen in Abbotsford on Sunday, April 18 at 10 a.m.
Police seek help in locating missing 17-year-old in Abbotsford

Matthew Balogh was last seen at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 18

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read