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Figure skating coach inspiring young skaters in Smithers

Courtney Malkow is moving up in the coaching ranks
Back Row: (L-R): Coach Courtney Malkow, Adison Labonte, Samantha Love, Hannah Hoffman, Haddassah Hoffman, Phoebe Frost, Isabelle Frost, Kolbie Doodson, Coach Deb Portman, Coach Clair Ben Zina Front Row: (L-R): Amber Alexander, Brielle Pott, Aja Alexander, Sarah Lo, Madison Malkow, Brynn Garland, Cassandra Kotai, Katie Lo, Emma Butler, Brinley Pott, Addison Leach, Taya Kasum

A local skating coach is training the next generation of figure skating talent at the same club she grew up in.

Courtney Malkow, or Coach Courtney as she is known around the rinks, is a skating coach at the Smithers Figure Skating Club. Earlier this month, she successfully completed her Regional Coach Portfolio and achieved a higher level of coaching certification to begin working toward her Provincial Coach certification.

Malkow was born and raised in Smithers, and grew up living with her mother and little sister. Skating has always been a part of her and her family’s lives, as she starting skating at the Smithers Figure Skating Club when she was just three-years-old.

“Both of my aunts were figure skaters and I happened to just follow suit,” she said.

As Malkow got older, the level of training and competition grew as well. When she was eight-years-old she started spending summers training at the North Shore Winter Club in North Vancouver, under coach and Olympic silver medalist Karen Magnussen. By the time she was nine, she was competing competitively.

“I was skating and competing competitively which happened to open doors for invitations to camps and seminars for competitive skaters and prospects,” she recalled.

Malkow has represented the Smithers Figure Skating Club at the BC Winter Games and many other events on numerous occasions.

Then, in the spring of 2017, Malkow was approached by the skating club in which she grew up. She had just signed up her daughter for the CanSkate program, and the club was looking for a coach, as their director of skating was leaving. Malkow would find a renewed passion for the sport she had loved all her life, and at the very same place where it began.

“I found the love for skating again once I got back onto the ice and started taking my coaching courses,” she explained. “The endless opportunities to help skaters of all ages and abilities brings so much excitement and joy into my day, just watching their achievements and goals.”

Seven years later, Malkow is once again an important part of the Smithers Figure Skating Club, putting in the same effort and dedication into coaching, as she once did competing.

“She has been a huge asset to our organization,” said Stephanie Auston, coach and administrative assistant at the club.

Malkow is currently in charge of the introduction to figure skating program, and coaches competitive and StarSkate figure skating as well. The StarSkate program consists of skills in four areas — skills, ice dance, free skate and artistic.

“She is patient and kind with the skaters and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her instruction,” Auston said. “Courtney has attended several seminars with world renowned coaches to learn new techniques to add to her coaching experience.”

Malkow plans to continue working towards higher levels of coaching, and is excited to give young skaters in Smithers a higher level of knowledge and training to help them achieve their goals.

READ MORE: The Smithers Figure Skating Club is a very busy, accomplished group

Smithers Figure Skating Club from left to right: Front Row: Adison Labonte, Brinley Pott, Brynn Garland, Sarah Lo, Samantha Love, Aja Alexander, Cassandra Kotai, Taya Kasum, Addison Leach, Brielle Pott, Amber Alexander. Back Row: Coach Tina Portman, Phoebe Frost, Isabelle Frost, Kolbie Doodson, Petra Martens, Coach Courtney Malkow, Coach Deb Portman. Contributed photo
Courtney Malkow recently completed her Regional Coach Portfolio and is working towards her Provincial Coach certification. (Courtney Malkow/Contributed to Black Press Media)