FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW CAN I TRY OUT AND SEE IF I'M INTERESTED?
If you are younger than 13 years of age, you are invited to either join the Biathlon Bears development program or attend any one of their regularly scheduled sessions for awareness. If you are 13 years or older and have ski experience, you are welcome to attend one of the regularly scheduled sessions for the competitive team. If you are 13 years or older and do not have ski experience, we recommend initially gaining experience with cross-country skiing given that it is a significant component of this sport, but are still welcome to attend one of the regularly scheduled sessions for the competitive team for awareness purposes. In any of the aforementioned cases, please contact us for further information or to make arrangements to attend one of our sessions.
WHAT IS BIATHLON?
Biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross country skiing with competitive target shooting.
IS BIATHLON HARD?
It's a lot more fun than it is "hard". If you enjoy the winter and have an interest in skiing and shooting skills, this is definitely the sport for you. Anyone can participate in biathlon, however our competitive athletes spend years improving their skills. With very little training you'll be hitting targets before you know it.
HOW BIG ARE THE TARGETS?
The target stands consist of 5 black circles on a white frame for strong contrasting colors. When you are in the standing position, you are aiming at target circles that are 11.5cm (4.5") in diameter - about the size of a teacup saucer. When you are in the prone position (lying down), the target you see is still 11.5cm, but the actual target circle is only 4.5cm (1.8") in diameter - about the size of a golf ball. You are firing at the targets at a distance of 50m, or about 164'.
I WANT TO TRY BIATHLON BUT DON'T THINK I WILL BE ANY GOOD AT IT.
The best part about biathlon is that the community is one of the most supportive sports out there. Every person out there, from the parents, to the athletes, to the officials, are behind you 100% of the way and cheering all the while. To be very honest, anyone can compete in biathlon, to the best of their own abilities. You will most certainly find some aspects of biathlon challenging at first, but in no time at all you will be hitting targets and skiing the trails, it is a very rewarding sport. The more effort you put into training and learning, the better you will become.
I AM IN OTHER SPORTS, IS THIS A BIG COMMITMENT?
It depends. If you fall in love with biathlon like we think you will, you will want to train and compete every chance you get. At the same time, you can be a recreational athlete and compete when you have a chance to get out. It's all up to you. The best part is that many other sports prepare athletes for competitive biathlon. You may find that you have a strong interest in biathlon soon after trying it out.
WINTER IS COMING SOON, WHEN DOES BIATHLON START?
Actually, we have biathlon training year round! In the snowy season we have traditional biathlon on skis. During the remainder of the year we train on roller skis and trail running, it's never too early or late to start.
ISN'T SKIING WITH A RIFLE DANGEROUS?
Biathlon athletes are trained from the very start about handling firearms safely. Safety is the number one rule in biathlon, no matter what the age or ability. We begin training at a young age using airsoft rifles and we leave them laying on the mat while running or skiing. As the athletes get older and progress in their training, they move on to shooting 22's at a licensed range where strict firearms protocols are in place. At first they will leave their rifles on a rack within the range safety area while skiing their laps but as they get older and more proficient at biathlon and demonstrated their competency to the satisfaction of the Coach, only then are they permitted to ski with a rifle on their back. There are strict safety protocols in place to ensure the sport is as safe as possible.
IS BIATHLON EXPENSIVE?
It really depends. The sport itself is relatively inexpensive compared to other sports programs. A lot of the equipment is a one time purchase and is often available for rental. The largest costs are travelling for events, this could include fuel, hotels, food and other costs, similar to any other trip you might make on a weekend to New Brunswick or PEI. Trips away are not mandatory but are part of the fun of biathlon.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR BIATHLON?
Now you are asking some important questions, it's time for you to sign up to try biathlon ASAP! We're ready to answer any and all of your questions.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
I HAVE A BACKGROUND IN CROSS COUNTRY SKIING, BIATHLON OR ROLLER SKIING AND AM INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING WHEN I CAN. CAN I HELP?
Yes, you most likely can, we love our volunteers and are always looking for more friendly faces. Please contact us today.