The Biathlon Bears program is directed at cross country skiers aged 9 to 14 who have at least one or more years of skiing experience, and who wish to continue their skill development through the exciting and challenging sport of biathlon. This program teaches the basic skills of biathlon in a safe and fun environment through a variety of drills, games and relays. The goal of the program is to build confidence with skiing and shooting skills and to provide a fun introduction to a fantastic and challenging sport. There is 1 Biathlon Range session per week which focuses on developing marksmanship skills and putting it all together with ski skills in order to compete recreationally in biathlon with program co-participants at club fun races or at a higher level if they so choose. Important gains in marksmanship skills, aerobic fitness, ski specific sport skills and social developments at this stage in biathlon will help to develop the mental skills, focus, and discipline needed for success later on in life. Though safety is our top priority, fun is the main focus of this program. Biathlon Bears participants are in the “Skills Development” stage or “Learning to Train” stages of growth and maturation in the Long Term Athlete Development Program model.
VIBC encourages Bears participants to seek additional ski coaching (including classic technique) outside the Biathlon Bears program in order to build the ski skills necessary to be a competent biathlete. Strathcona Nordics Ski Club offers Jackrabbits (ages 4-9+), Youth Learn to Ski (ages 10-13) or DEVO team (ages 9-12) programs on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings from 10am -12pm. Please see the website for details www.strathconanordics.com.
Participants are required to provide their own skate skiing equipment. If you want to rent equipment we recommend the seasonal rental package from the Nordic Lodge.
Bears participants are not required to have their own rifle. 10 rifles are available for rent for the program. The total number of participants is thus dependent on the number of rifles available.
The Bears program operates with a high coach to athlete ratio; however, parent support is required to make this program successful. Parents will be expected to help out for at least 3 of the sessions in some capacity, as well as volunteer at the club races. Parents are also required to attend a mandatory range safety education session during the first Bears session.
Parents must register through Biathlon Canada as a Volunteer in the Biathlon BC section in order to be covered by insurance for your time on and around the range. There is no charge for this registration.
Parents are also encouraged to take club sponsored coaching or officiating courses to better assist your child in their success in the program.
The club will host 2 fun races which are included as part of the Bears program. These races are lots of fun and provide the participant with the opportunity to really put it all together. In addition, we encourage all Bears who are interested in attending with their families, to join the club at the Biathlon BC Cup race at the Whistler Olympic Park. A typical race weekend for a BC Cup series consists of two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday in slightly different race formats. There will be coach support available for Bears participants at this race.
Winter Session 2017
January 7 - March 18th
Saturdays 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Program fee includes 2 Fun Club Races.
Optional BC Cup Race #3 in Whistler: January 28th & 29th – costs to be determined.
Program Fee: $200, includes ammunition
Rifle Rental Fee: $50 – program only, $100 - annual
Bears participants need to be a member of the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club, as well as Biathlon Canada and Biathlon BC for insurance purposes. Please see the website registration page for details.
Bears are required to have a valid Mt. Washington Alpine Resort trail pass. You may purchase individual day passes, but season passes are generally more economical for the duration of the program. Please see the website for details www.mtwashington.ca.