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 coaching philosophy centers around a mastery-based, growth mindset approach, aiming to develop athletes comprehensively to excel in their sport. He prioritizes refining technical skills, strategic understanding, and mental resilience, fostering a deep comprehension of the sport. Mike's academic background in sports science from Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary, along with a graduate certificate in High-Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership from the University of British Columbia, reflects his commitment to evidence-based coaching. He has contributed publications covering CanoeKayak topics on injury prevention, biomechanical analysis, and technological advancements. As a Chartered Professional Coach, Mike has led club teams to achieve Canadian champion status and has coached world championship medalists and Olympians.

Graham Schiebel – Coach

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 – Coach 

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 & guest 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.

Robin Kendall – Coach

Robin is a dedicated coach focused on creating a positive environment for athletes, emphasizing fun, uniqueness, and personal growth. With a track record of ensuring athletes meet their goals, he believes in collaborative, safe, and challenging spaces for success. A lifelong paddler, Robin's coaching reflects his love for the sport, aiming for athletes to enjoy paddling and value lifelong exercise. His experience across Canada provides a rich coaching perspective. With an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education, a personal training certificate from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and a certificate as a competitive development sprint canoe coach, he is adept at guiding athletes to success.

Helen Obrecht – 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.

Madeline Schmidt – Coach

Maddy Schmidt is a current National Team member and Tokyo Olympian. She's been paddling since she first fell in love with the sport and the community it created since she was 8 years old. To this day, Maddy's primary focus for herself and for the athletes she coaches is to instill the love and fun of being on the water, working hard, and working with a team of awesome people!

Aside from Maddy's first hand experience paddling at every stage of development and performance, she has multiple years of coaching experience at the Rideau Canoe Club and RCC's satellite summer program at Brantwood Park. She has a BSc in Kinesiology, and is about to start her Masters Degree at Queens University this Fall.

Ekko Blix – Coach

Ekko Blix has been a fixture at the Calgary Canoe Club for eight years, first as a dedicated competitor and now as a passionate coach. Her journey within the club reflects a profound connection to sprint canoeing and a steadfast commitment to its community. Transitioning seamlessly from athlete to mentor, Ekko brings a wealth of firsthand experience and coaching expertise to her role.

For Ekko, coaching is not just about technique; it's about instilling a love for the sport and the unique culture of the Calgary Canoe Club in the next generation of paddlers. She values the opportunity to share her passion and nurture a thriving community of athletes within the club..

Lynda Roberts – Club Manager & Coach

A person wearing a hatDescription automatically generatedLynda’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

A person wearing a hatDescription automatically generatedKirsten, 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.