The Central App

Meet Alexandra’s new figure skating coach

The Central App

Anna Robb

20 June 2024, 6:30 PM

Meet Alexandra’s new figure skating coachAlexandra Ice Skating Club (AISC) coach Samantha (Sam) Kuri (middle) together with junior and senior development skaters at IceInline. PHOTO: The Central App

Alexandra Ice Skating Club's newest coach has no shortage of talent - on and off the ice.

With a masters degree in education and a ballet, snowboarding and yoga background former synchronised skating European champion Samantha (Sam) Kuri brings many attributes to Alexandra Ice Skating Club (AISC).

For the past six years she’s been based in Auckland coaching the New Zealand development squad. 

She described the move from national level coaching to “the grassroots” in Alexandra, as “incredible”.

“I’m here for the pure joy and fun and my love for the sport.”

She’s moved from coaching highly competitive skaters of Chinese ethnicity all year round to an intensive three-month period in Central where many are recreational skaters and completely new to the sport.

Sam said the welcome from the Central community has been warm and the IceInline facility reminds her of home, where she grew up skating on outdoor rinks and frozen lakes. 

In the first few weeks she has kicked off a synchronised skating team of nine skaters, which AISC has not offered in recent years. 

She’s also coaching ice dancing in Alexandra, helping skaters to hone a different set of skills to free skate. 

Ice dance is set to traditional dance music with steps such as tango and foxtrot. It has no jumps or spins and is a bit like ballroom dancing on ice.  

“My passion lies in this area. There are so many serious [things] in the world right now.

“With the music, you are focused in that moment and [skaters] forget everything else when they’re on the ice.”

Sam said ice skating is a multifaceted sport with creative, athletic, performance and confidence components all being keys to success.  

“Role models were my coaches in my life, and you end up developing a close relationship with them.”

Success for Sam is seeing her skaters being “proud of themselves and having grown into their skating persona on the ice and feeling happy to be on the stage too.” 

AISC skaters are focused on the first competition of the season on Sunday, July 14 in Alexandra. 

Sam said locals should come along and support competitors as they’ll “see massive smiles on faces.”

The 33-year-old is half German and half Canadian and comes from a family of skaters. Both her grandfather and her mother were ice dancers.

During her own career she competed for Germany in singles, pairs, ice dance and synchronised skating.

Her team went on to become European champions in 2016, which was made up of 16 skaters performing on the ice at once. 

After her season in Central she plans to return to Europe and complete her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) specialising in education.

Sam said she’s close to achieving her permanent residency in New Zealand and that she feels a close connection with the country.

“Kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, cycling and hiking, seeing New Zealand with my van . . . I’ve had many trips to the South Island.”   

Read more: Alexandra’s Jessica Coleman leading on the ice

Read more: Women’s ice hockey kicking off in Alexandra


For more information see AISC’s listing.