The pair were recognized during the Skate Canada BC/YK annual general meeting on May 6 receiving awards for Skate Canada Club Coach Award of Excellence and program assistant of the year, respectively.
“It feels like a lot of the work that we’ve done over the last couple of years is being recognized,” said Buttenham, who joined the club as coach in 2013. “That goes a long way. We have our own barometers for success. Every year we are increasing the size of the club (now at 317 from 112 since 2013).”
Buttenham said the skaters have to push themselves with the coaching their receive. He also said his role is being part of a team. Buttenham emphasized the importance of having a personal relationship with the skaters along with having their trust in what he coaches them. While taking a coaching course to improve himself, his instructor said something that stuck.
“In order to teach Sally skating, you’ve got to know two things. You’ve got to know skating, but you’ve also got to know Sally,” recalled Buttenham. “It made an impression on me. It’s more than just being able to skate. You’ve got to get to know the kids also as human beings and what they are doing outside of the arena. Some kids get to that last year, Grade 12 and they have to pull back on skating because they are looking at getting into university but they still have these goals. How do you go about achieving those for those individual people?”
Anutooshkin went above what was required of her as a volunteer coach. Glengarry relies on its older skaters to give time with the younger kids, keeping them safe, but also having fun and helping them learn.
“Keara has done a great job,” said Buttenham. “The last two years, she has volunteered to do twice a week when kids are only asked to do once. She has always been there. The kids really like her. Her smile is infectious. She is just an easy kid to get along with.”
“It was a huge honour, especially after spending so much time with Glengarry, was kind of nice to finish that way in my last year,” said Anutooshkin, a soon-to-be Pen High grad. “I really enjoy children so I already enjoy CanSkating in the first place. To be recognized for that is really encouraging.”
Anutooshkin likes knowing she is making an impact with the younger skaters in the CanSkate program.
“There were people that kind of influenced me into choosing figure skating,” Anutooshkin, who will attend UBC next fall. “To be that role model for them is cool. I think that being able to share my skills with them, it’s nice.”