Coaching Staff

Maria Panfilova

CBR Biathlon Coach

Maria hails from the City of Perm, near the Ural Mountains in Russia. She got an early introduction into the world of sports having participated in swimming and badminton before setting her sights on cross country skiing by the the time she was 10. Maria was a member of Russia’s junior national cross country ski team (competed at the World Junior Championships for cross country skiing) before ultimately committing to biathlon.

Active biathlete from 2007 to 2018, competing for the Senior National Teams of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. During her competitive career Maria also coached at her hometown club in the off season working with the young athletes as well as instructing youth aged athletes remotely and at training camps.

Maria holds a degree in Economics from Perm State Technical University as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Tyumen State University in Russia.

Maria is a World University Games Champion (2011 Erzurum, Turkey), Junior European Champion (2008 Nove Mesto, Czech Republic), an IBU Cup and World Cup medalist and an Olympian (Sochi 2014).

Maria is married to her husband Aleksei. They are raising two children, daughter Sasha and son Fyodor.

Airat Aitniakov

CBR Head Coach, NCCP Level 3

Airat is originally from Western Siberia, Russia with several stops along the way. He raced cross country in his youth and earned a BA in International Relations from Tyumen State University in Russia and a Masters in Public Administration from Drake University in the United States.

Airat moved to Calgary, Alberta in 2007 to work as a Sport Development manager for the Alberta Biathlon Club. Beginning in 2008, he coached the Biathlon Bears and then the Junior Development program at Foothills Nordic Ski Club until the formation of CBR in 2012. Airat designs the training program for the club and also sets the training schedule for all groups. His primary coaching duties are Youth HP and 3P groups, however Airat does coach younger groups at training camps and throughout the race season.  Airat has been a part of Team Alberta coaching staff at Canadian National Championships for the past 6 years and also coached Team Canada’s Youth Men at 2017 World Youth and Junior Biathlon Championship in Osrblie, Slovakia. In February 2019 Airat led Team Canada at the Open European Championship in Minsk, Belarus and an IBU Cup #7 in Otepaa, Estonia.

When not coaching Airat’s biggest passion is travel… by motorcycle, on pavement and off. Among his other interests are photography, reading books, exploring the mountains on foot, bicycle or motorbike, and keeping a pulse on the state of current international affairs (old habit).


Board of Directors

Each year at our AGM, the Calgary Biathlon Racers club membership elects a new executive board.

CBR Board of Directors 2019-2020

President – John Berg

Vice President – Doug Kelly

Secretary – Stephanie Bartlett

Treasurer – Eeva Harrop

Director, Fundraising – Suzanne Sihikal

Director, at Large – Paul Tourigny

Director, at Large – Todd Berling

Past President – Ryan Thorogood

COVID-19: CBR is currently operating under Biathlon Canada Approved Online Instruction Activities and Protocols during COVID-19 pandemic MORE INFO