A Proud Coach's Story

MVP: Ann Voogd

By: Abby Murphy

Most elite skaters get into skating as soon as they can walk. For Ann Voogd, she did not get into skating until she was 12 years old. Her late start did not stop her from wanting and working to be great. She has earned multiple gold medals and has passed many levels. Voogd has overcome tons of obstacles and has not only continued her skating career but has gone on to coach skating.

Skating has just always made me feel good and I learned fast. It has had its obstacles, I tried to do pair skating on a dislocated shoulder for a while until I finally needed to get surgery. When I came back I skated with the Thai Olympic team for a little while. After going through quite a bit of family stuff I wanted to get back to coaching to be able to teach the kids.

All the rough patches and hard times Voogd has gone through, she has always come back to skating. Voogd uses skating as her support and has shown that to the kids she coaches. Half of the kids she coaches have ADHD, but when they get on the ice everything changes. They do not need medicine when skating because the love and discipline of the sport keeps their attention.

Even though Voogd coaches individuals, she keeps them together as a team. These kids have grown, suffered, and succeeded together. Their theme this year has turned out to be perseverance. They have gone through stiches, broken bones, illnesses, surgeries and much more. None of this had made the girls want to stop, in fact it has made them push even harder. They are all working together to prepare for the State Games and they could not be more excited.

Voogd could not be happier to be bringing her kids to Grand Rapids to compete, she says, I feel really blessed with the kids and parents I work with, they are amazing and put in the hours, they never stop, it is their safe place. I love the State Games and how it pushes the sport. I want more kids to do them. It has life skills they are learning. Just going out and skating better than the day before is the best things.

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