Australian Biathlon may just have had “the best start to a biathlon season ever”!
There have been mint snow conditions for the several events held so far this month at Mount Hotham, VIC, site of the only biathlon range in Australia, as there have been at Falls Creek, VIC, where we have held run our laser biathlon events in support of the “Fast and Female” program for girls and young women.
Fast and Female
We are proud to support again this program, which encourages girls and young women to be fit and active, a program that started in Canada in 2005.
Coach Lynn-Maree Cullen and “Honorary Female” Bob Cranage OAM ran the laser biathlon stand at Falls Creek.
After an introduction to biathlon, over two dozen participants took part in fun biathlon relays, using our Larsen biathlon training systems, which allow biathlon participation for Under 12s and at locations away from traditional rifle ranges.
Yet again, a great time was had by all!
The annual Masters Camp, hosted by coaches Paul Connor and Toscha Stopar, had participants come from as far away as Rockhampton, QLD to take part. The group was a mix of first time novices to well-seasoned competitors.
Everyone took part in a range of skiing and shooting drills at the Hotham Biathlon Arena, along with indoor dry firing.
A huge dump of powder snow buried cars and made for hard work skating up hills, and some hilarious stacks on the downhills.
On the range, participants had to learn to deal with a range of conditions, which included high wind, bright sunshine and lying in puddles.
Highlight of the week was a fun race at the end of the camp, held on immaculately groomed cross country ski trails, against a beautiful blue sky. Next year’s camp is already in the planning stage!
We are thrilled to have been well-oversubscribed for our National Camp, where we ended up with nearly forty participants!
The camp was conducted in two streams: the High Performance group, led by Coach Luca Bormolini (former National Italian Team Member) and the Future Stars group, led by Coach Cameron Morton (2006 Winter Olympian), aimed at the 6-16 year old age group.
Coaches Lynn-Maree Cullen and Mark Raymond, both retired World Cup athletes, were able to put to good use the latest International Biathlon Union training techniques, having just returned from the IBU Annual Coaches Seminar in Germany.
Also assisting were Coaching Coordinator Barry Field, plus several parents, who keenly helped out with many tasks, including preparing the range and running races.
Training for both groups was based at the Mount Hotham Biathlon Arena, located 3 km east of Mount Hotham Alpine Village.
While the High Performance Group worked on taking their skills to the next level, the Future Stars had participants from kids aged six to parents aged – well, over 30 – taking part.
The Future Stars learned to ski like a “future champion” through fun activities and training in an engaging team environment. Use of our Larsen laser training systems allows those Under 12 to undertake modified biathlon activities in a safe manner, and widens greatly the number of participants at biathlon activities.
Two fun events open to all were held during the camp, the inaugural NSW Branch Championship Races, an informal relay event, and the East Gippsland Branch Open Championships, an informal Super Sprint event. Both were aimed at giving participants a chance to get their eye in and their ski feet moving, and were much enjoyed and appreciated by all. Many thanks to the camp supporters, including those involved in the planning months beforehand. Your generous help made this camp a great success, the largest in at least a decade!
Victorian Championships (record numbers) and Lead in Fun event
On Friday 22 July, the NSW Branch of Australian Biathlon will hold a fun Super Sprint event, an informal race to help racers prepare the Selection Races on Saturday and Sunday. Members will have a ski in the morning followed by a little race practice at 12 noon.
On the weekend, there is a record number of participants, racers include participants from the UK and USA.
Saturday’s event is an Individual (distance) event, with Sunday being a Sprint.
Spectators are most welcome, best time to come is around 9:15 and the Hotham Snow Bus stops right at the Hotham Biathlon Arena, 3 km east of Hotham Village.
For latest news, keep an eye on Australian Biathlon’s Team App site: https://australianbiathlon.teamapp.com/ and follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@AUSBiathlon) and Instagram (aus_biathlon).
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