Glacier Bears welcome new head coach

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club has a new head coach. Malwina Bukszowana, 32, arrived in Whitehorse last week and was welcomed by the club with a barbecue at the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum.

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club has a new head coach.

Malwina Bukszowana, 32, arrived in Whitehorse last week and was welcomed by the club with a barbecue at the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum on Sunday.

“It’s a completely different life. I’ve never lived in some place like the Yukon before,” said Bukszowana. “I know the winter will be freezing, so it will be a completely different place for me.

“I will deal with the square tires,” she added, referring to when car tires freeze solid, leaving one side flat where the tires met the ground. “We have cold winters in Poland, but it lasts maybe a month.”

Bukszowana, who is originally from Poland, was the head coach of the Trojan Swim Club in Dublin, Ireland, the last four years. It was during her time at the Trojan club she first learned of the Glacier Bears.

Whitehorse siblings Thomas and Luke Bakica, two of the Glacier Bears’ top up-and-comers, spent time training at the Trojan club a couple years ago. Bukszowana kept in touch with the Bakica family and through them heard of the position within the club opening up.

“We put an ad on the Swim Canada website and had a couple potential (coaches),” said Glacier Bears president Shelby Workman. “We had a lady from Romania as well as Malwina from Poland. So we Skype-interviewed them and Malwina seemed to fit our values and club protocol.

“We talked to a few club members in Ireland and lots of parents there really liked her.”

Bukszowana began her swimming career in the pool but had her greatest successes in open-water events.

“I was a pool swimmer at the beginning, then I tried triathlon a little bit, and I found out I like to swim outdoors,” said Bukszowana. “I decided I like open water and competed in a few world cups, world championships, European championships.”

Bukszowana competed at the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne for open water and took ninth place in the 25-kilometre event.

“The one I think was my best was fourth at a world cup in a 19-kilometres (race) in Serbia in 2007,” said Bukszowana.

Bukszowana, who has a Masters in physical education from Poland’s University of Szczecin and senior-level coaching status in Europe, has signed a one-year contract with an option for another year. Her contract begins at the start of September, just before the club gets going again on Sept. 8.

The Glacier Bears club currently has about 112 members including about 30 new members for this season.

Bukszowana is replacing former head coach Stephanie Dixon who was with the club the last two seasons. Dixon, a former paralympian, accepted the position of team ambassador for the Canadian Paralympic Committee for the Sochi Paralympic Games next year in Russia.

“I did intend to come back to the Glacier Bears for another year, but it was a great honour to be named ambassador for the Canadian team, so I couldn’t refuse,” Dixon told the News in a recent interview.

Dixon added she will maintain residence in Whitehorse and intends to stay involved with the Glacier Bears club.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Eric Schroff, executive director with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, poses for a portrait on Feb. 20. Schroff says he is puzzled as to why the Yukon government is cutting back on funding for the association. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
YG cuts Yukon Fish and Game Association funding, tried to vet outgoing communications

Yukon Fish and Game Association says 25 per cent government funding cut will impact operations


Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

Most Read