Meet your coaches and staff
Our primary goal as your coaching team is to support and empower you throughout your athletic journey, fostering a collaborative team environment where each athlete's contribution is valued and essential. Together, we are all keepers and creators of the Calgary Canoe Club legacy, dedicated to building upon its strong foundation and carrying it forward into the future.
In our collaborative coaching environment, we value your growth and progress, aiming to create a supportive atmosphere that encourages you to overcome challenges, embrace a growth mindset, and push the boundaries of your potential. With a coaching style emphasizing positivity and encouragement, we are here to motivate you and help you realize your capabilities.
Guided by principles of teamwork and respect, we are dedicated to fostering a strong team dynamic built on mutual support and collaboration. By setting attainable goals and emphasizing a collective approach to success, we aim to provide you with the tools you need to thrive both as an athlete and as a valuable member of our team.
We understand that your athletic journey may come with its share of hurdles. Our coaching team is here to help you navigate these challenges, build unwavering confidence, and foster a strong sense of belief in your abilities. As part of our team, we encourage you to actively engage in the training process, maintain a positive attitude, support your fellow teammates, take responsibility for your actions, remain adaptable in the face of adversity, and communicate effectively with your peers and our coaching staff.
Each coaching team member brings unique skills and experiences, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your development as an athlete. We are excited to have you as part of our team and look forward to a journey of continuous growth and improvement together.
Now, let's introduce you to our coaching team, individuals dedicated to your success and growth.
Mike Robinson - Head Coach
Mike's academic background in sports science from Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary, complemented by a graduate certificate in High-Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership from the University of British Columbia, underlines his commitment to evidence-based coaching methods. Mike has published scientific works specific to Canoe/Kayak on topics such as injury prevention, biomechanical analysis, and technological development. Mike is a Chartered Professional Coach, and his rich history within the Canadian canoe and kayak coaching landscape. Mike has held leadership roles at various prominent teams and coached world championship medalists and Olympians.
Graham Schiebel – Lead for men's kayak
Graham's journey within the Calgary Canoe Club began in 2002 when he joined as an athlete. In 2009, driven by his passion for the sport and a desire to contribute to the CCC, he joined the coaching team. This shift not only underscored Graham's dedication to the sport but also highlighted his commitment to sharing his expertise and fostering a new generation of talented athletes within the club.
Graham's desire to develop has led him to earn a bachelor's degree in Physical Literacy from Mount Royal University and certification as a personal trainer accredited by the Canadian Society of Exercise and Physiology (CSEP). Additionally, Graham holds a Competition Development certification through the National Coaches Certification Program. This education and certification speak to his competency in designing comprehensive training programs and fostering the holistic development of athletes under his guidance.
Ornmadee Baxter-Lovo – Lead for women's kayak
Ornmadee is a Chartered Professional Coach and is certified as a Competition-Development coach through the National Coaching Certification program. She is known for her demanding yet enjoyable training programs she brings a wealth of expertise and a profound understanding of practical coaching methodologies to her practice.
Her connection with paddling began at the Calgary Canoe Club at age 10, igniting her lifelong passion for the sport. Transitioning to coaching in 2010, she has since contributed her skills to various clubs in Nova Scotia, including Maskwa and Sackawa, establishing herself as a versatile and seasoned coach.
A lifelong learner, Ornmadee is dedicated to continuous professional development in areas such as pedagogy, strength and fitness, and coach education facilitation while advocating for women's representation in coaching. Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and an education degree from Ambrose University, Ornmadee's academic background is a strong foundation for her coaching abilities, allowing her to connect with athletes of all ages effectively.
Beyond training sessions, she prioritizes maintaining open communication with athletes and parents, tailoring her coaching style to meet specific goals. Operating within a mastery-based framework, she fosters a supportive yet demanding training environment, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between coach, athlete, and parent.
Emily Raymond Saxton – Yoga & Florida camp coach
Emily brings a rich history as a former Canadian Team kayak athlete and over 15 years of coaching experience, contributing significantly to the Calgary Canoe Club's coaching team. Her deep understanding of competitive kayaking stems from her expertise in representing Canada in international competitions.
Emily's coaching expertise is fortified by her B.A. in Psychology and High Five certification in principles of healthy child development. Additionally, she holds certifications from the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) for Fundamental Movement Skills. Beyond her coaching role, Emily is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher specializing in dynamic and Yin Yoga and a 28-hour certified family yoga instructor. Emily's multifaceted skills provide a comprehensive coaching approach, emphasizing athletic excellence and holistic well-being for the athletes at the Calgary Canoe Club.
Helen Obrecht – U14 Coach
Helen began her coaching career in the summer of 2022, dedicating her time to the development of U12s and U14s. Throughout this period, she cultivated a profound passion for guiding athletes, aiding them in realizing their potential and refining their talents. In 2023, Helen participated in the Florida Training Camp, gaining valuable experience and insights into the sport at a high level. During this camp, she achieved her Entry Level Competitive Coach (ELCC) certification from the National Coaching Certification Program. The camp exposed her to other club teams and the opportunity to spend time with the National Team coach, where she learned extensively from the experience. Helen's dedication plays an important role in shaping our next generation of athletes.
Lynda Roberts – Club Manager & Coach
Lynda’s background in competitive paddling started in high school, and although she was a late joiner to the sport, she was part of a very successful CCC women’s war canoe crew program and developed a passion for sprint canoe. While completing her Physical Education degree in Calgary, Lynda worked as a recreation instructor and coach at the Club, completing her Competition Development coach certification.
After a few years of on-and-off travelling and coaching, Lynda returned to Calgary and took on the role of Club Manager as an interim position, which ended up being a rather long temporary position. Lynda’s primary management duties today include the building, recreation staff and programs. Lynda leads the very successful Outrigger program. Lynda has taken on many Board roles in various paddling organizations over the years and currently sits on the International Va’a Federation’s Board as a Technical Director supporting host countries in running the World Championship events. Specific to the Sprint program, Lynda works with Mike and Kirsten to support administrative work such as the budget, programming, grant applications for equipment purchase and various other tasks, including the odd road trip here and there moving the trailer to various events.
Lynda's dedicated involvement and extensive knowledge have significantly contributed to the Club's growth and success.
Kirsten Klotz – Administration and Coach
Kirsten, our Assistant Manager, is truly a 'jack of all trades.' In addition to her role as assistant manager, she seamlessly transitions into the role of recreation instructor and coach as needed. Throughout the season, Kirsten plays a crucial role in facilitating communication, working closely with coaches to ensure a smooth and well-coordinated experience for everyone.
Kirsten started her journey at the CCC at the age of 8 in the Learn 2 Paddle programs and joined the sprint program when she was 15 years old. At 16, she volunteered her summers to help out with the L2P Programs and soon joined the staff the following year.
Kirsten has a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education (Eco-Tourism Outdoor Leadership) from Mount Royal University with a Major in Business. She also has a Certificate and Diploma from College of the Rockies in Adventure Tourism Business Operations.
Outside of the CCC, Kirsten enjoys XC skiing in the winter, paddling whenever she can with her family, driving to Florida for the CCC, and spending time in BC at her family's cottage.
Be sure to connect with Kirsten, her versatility and dedication greatly contribute to our team's success.