A group of 8 athletes from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut gathered for this years USBA Youth Development Camp held at the Ethan Allen Firing Range training facility in Jericho, VT. This group of young (ages 12-15), aspiring biathletes spent 3 days learning the basics of the sport from coaches Algis Shalna and Patrick Coffey while taking full advantage of the sites paved rollerskiing trails as well as the full 30 point biathlon range.
The first morning was spent fitting rifles and teaching safety after which the athletes got right out onto the range for their first live-fire workout. With lots of targets falling the group quickly progressed in their shooting ability and knowledge of the sport. With clear and cool weather holding throughout the camp, there was plenty of time left for rollerskiing, hill-bounding, strength workouts and, of course, our hotly contested post-dinner games of Ultimate Frisbee.
Our camp concluded with a Summer Biathlon race in which the athletes all completed 4 shooting stages with 5 running loops. What impressed me most was how all of the athletes remained calm and relaxed on the shooting range and showed incredible composure and maturity when handling the rifles.
I hope to see all of these athletes again soon as they are all great examples of the future of our sport of biathlon.
Youth biathletes on the range with coach Patrick Coffey.
Youth biathletes learning about the rifle from coach Patrick Coffey.