The City of Kamloops continuously works to bring new programs and coaching opportunities to the community and is hopeful to see biathlon—a sport that combines cross-country skiing or other forms of endurance activity with target shooting—emerge within the Tournament Capital. In 2018, biathlon was one of the demo sports during the BC Winter Games held in Kamloops.
“We are exploring biathlon partnerships and community interest at this point in preparation for the upcoming fall and winter season,” said Nicole Beauregard, the City’s Sport Development Coordinator. “We are very excited to see this sport become a reality in our community.”
The City has been working closely with PacificSport Interior BC and Clay Whitman, who has a wealth of knowledge for the sport of biathlon. Whitman is on the Board of Directors for BC Biathlon, a NCCP Master Coach Developer, and an Officials Instructor. Whitman received equipment funding from the Kamloops Sport Legacy Fund and is keen to start the sport in Kamloops.
“Biathlon in Kamloops is a natural fit. Biathlon is a year-round outdoor sport for life that complements a wide range of existing sport programs,” said Whitman. “The facilities required to start a biathlon program are already located in Kamloops, and there are other clubs close by in Vernon and West Kelowna. The return of biathlon programming to Kamloops will enhance existing sports and will provide an opportunity to participate in this exciting and fast-growing Olympic sport."
Biathlon is traditionally a winter sport, but summer biathlon with running, roller skiing, or mountain biking is also gaining in popularity. There are several free upcoming sessions, including an introduction to biathlon and biathlon coaching, taking place in the next few weeks. Curious residents of all skill levels are encouraged to register and discover the sport of biathlon.
- Biathlon Intro to Coaching: Wednesday, May 11, 7:00–8:30 pm, West Highlands Park, Ages 16+
- Give Biathlon a Shot: Saturday, May 14, 1:00–5:00 pm, West Highlands Park, Ages 10+
- Give Biathlon a Shot: Wednesday, June 8, 7:00–8:30 pm, West Highlands Park, Ages 10+
- NCCP - Biathlon: Saturday and Sunday, June 11–12,9:00 am–5:00 pm, Yacht Club, Ages 16+
"Bringing biathlon to Kamloops will increase opportunities for athletes, coaches, and officials across the Interior to engage in a sport that is new to the Kamloops community," said Erin Pincott, Sport Performance Coordinator, PacificSport Interior BC. "At PacificSport, we are thrilled that this will help the athletes that we support on their high-performance pathway as they aim to win medals for Canada. It truly takes a community to build a champion.”
To register for any of the biathlon programs, visit Kamloops.ca/Register.