Cadet Nathan Robichaud gets his poles on as he exits the range at Ski Martock during the Nova Scotia Cadet Biathlon Championships.
Photo: Lieutenant Charles Huntley, Canadian Armed Forces
MARTOCK - Four teens from the 299 Air Cadets in Yarmouth competed with the best at the Nova Scotia Cadet Biathlon Championship, Jan. 23-24, at Ski Martock in Windsor.
Not every cadet biathlete gets to attend the event. Teams must qualify for provincials by first competing in a zone biathlon in early November. Thanks to some focused training, Nathan Robichaud, 15; Daniel Smith, 17; Samuel Stanwood, 12, and Samantha Surette , 13, made the cut.
Robichaud says he was glad to have the opportunity to compete.
“Biathlon is a unique winter sport and not a lot of people know about it. It combines shooting and cross country skiing,” he said.
The training can be tough. The Yarmouth team has been working hard since September – sometimes up to three practices a week in addition to their own individual training – to land the provincial opportunity.
To be a member of a cadet biathlon team one must also be a member of a local cadet corps or squadron. As a cadet, Robichaud also commits time each week to developing his leadership and teamwork skills as part of the cadet program’s regular training.
“Biathlon is a great opportunity for cadets,” said Captain James Mahoney, Nova Scotia Cadet Biathlon Championship director. “The cadets get to use their leadership skills within their teams and get active. Biathlon is an event that really pushes our program’s goals.”
Teens from Windsor, New Waterford and Halifax were among the top finishers at this year’s championships. Sixty competed.
Provincial Cadet Biathlon Championships are happening all across the country, with the top teams from each province and territory meeting in Quebec City March 2-7 for the National Cadet Biathlon Championships.
The cadet biathlon program is available through the Canadian Cadet Organization – a leadership organization for youth ages 12 to 18 that’s free to join. For more information about cadets or to find a cadet corps or squadron near you, click this link.
Lt. Charles Huntley is the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Atlantic) Unit Public Affairs Representative