Have you met … Courtney Klinger, new president of the KSR Alumni Association

The years she spent as a student at the University of Alberta were some of the best of Courtney Klinger’s life, she says — and today, 23 years later, she is excited to be back, giving back to the faculty she loved so much and graduated from with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

20 November 2023

Courtney started in her new role as president of the Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Alumni Association (KSRAA) this fall, and we caught up with her to find out what she’s been up to since graduation, what being part of the KSR community means to her, and her hopes for the future of the KSRAA. 

Can you describe your career journey since finishing your degree? 

Oh boy, where to start?! I started off working in a private physio clinic as a rehab assistant/receptionist/exercise therapist, making peanuts. But I definitely learned a lot! I then started in a casual position as an exercise therapist at the Workers Compensation Board’s Millard Treatment Centre. That turned into a permanent gig that included working on treatment teams and assessments, among other tasks. I worked there as a front-line clinician for 15 years, then spent my last five years in a leadership role. 

I moved to the Edmonton West Primary Care Network (EWPCN) as a manager of clinical services, overseeing the active living and exercise and nutrition programs, and supporting the clinic’s nurses and physicians. I have been at the EWPCN now for almost three years and will be starting a new role there as director of clinical services in January. I’m very excited, but also slightly terrified!

What inspired you to run for president of the KSRAA? 

I have always had a passion for kinesiology because I grew up playing every sport imaginable. I was always interested in the human body, movement and rehabilitation. But I’m also motivated by the knowledge that our profession still isn’t fully understood or well-known. I feel this is an awesome opportunity to really support up-and-coming kinesiologists and network with and mentor alumni. But more importantly, I get to spread the word to the community about just how versatile kinesiologists can be and what we have to offer. It’s also about giving back to the faculty, my peers and the community.

What does it mean to you to stay connected to the KSR community? 

It’s in my DNA to forever be a kinesiologist, so I can’t imagine not being connected! I had amazing mentors when I first started my career and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without that guidance. I feel kinesiologists are natural-born leaders, whether they work on the front lines or do get into leadership. Me coming full circle to give that back is quite the privilege.

What are some of your goals as incoming president? 

I would love to achieve the goals in our strategic plan year after year, put on great events for our alumni and get more alumni involved. I’d like to help support business-owning alumni with networking and advertising, work with KSR to support up-and-coming kinesiologists and set the board up for ongoing success after I leave. I also really like being boots on the ground. I look forward to getting out there and telling people all the things we do and asking the community what they need from us. 

What are you most excited about as you take on this role? 

I love to learn (my kids call me a nerd!) and things have changed quite a bit with the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation since I graduated. I’m excited about expanding my knowledge about what the faculty now has to offer and learning where the gaps are that alumni might be stuck in when it comes to career navigation. I’m looking forward to providing mentorship to newly graduated kinesiologists and to showing them their options are endless. And I can’t wait to get to know the board members and their unique skill sets so together we can make KSRAA even more successful than it already is!