Youth Training in Biathlon with the EcoAims camera based optic rifle.
XC Bragg Creek Ski & Bike Society with support of AB Biathlon, now offers a youth Biathlon program for ages 9-12 years, coached by certified Biathlon coaches. Biathlon is a combination of skate skiing and marksmanship.
This is an exciting new program allowing local youth to experience this Olympic sport in complete safety at very low cost.
The EcoAims camera based rifles are a non-projectile, non-invasive rifle allowing coaches to view what the athlete sees through their site. Portable target systems are hooked up via wires to the rifle and computer system to relay information of on target hits, misses and timing. The EcoAims camera system is like a high-fidelity Nintendo, is battery powered, completely portable and emission free. The EcoAim rifle simulator has the shape and feel of a biathlon rifle but it cannot fire a projectile. The rifle simulator contains a camera which reads the infrared emitter on the target. A hit or miss is registered on the target with red or green LED lights. A control unit records the accuracy of the athlete. The EcoAims system is so precise that Olympic level athletes incorporate it into their training regime.
Athletes at this age do not ski while carrying their rifles on their backs – rifles are kept on the rifle stand at all times. There is no environmental damage or strain on the eco-system. All range and equipment is set up and taken down before and after practice, being a temporary set up.
EcoAims system is still treated with the same gun safety protocol and competitions run parallel to each other. This is an exciting time for Southern Alberta to be introducing this sport to more children around the province, especially since the best athletes in the World came to Canmore to compete at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon on Feb 7-10, 2019.
2018 2019 Biathlon Program:
***Biathlon Program (age 9-12)***
Biathlon Specific Dryland Training:
Sept 22, 2019 – Oct 30, 2019
Sundays 1:00-2:30pm & Wednesdays 5:30-7:00pm
12 Sessions – $240
Location: Redwood Meadows
November 3, 2019 – March 15, 2020
Sundays 1:00-2:30pm & Wednesdays 5:30-7:00pm
32 Sessions – $650
no classes Dec 22-Jan 5 & Feb 16-19
Location: West Bragg Creek Trails & Redwood Meadows (location dates TBD)
-Skate ski gear, properly fitting
-Headlamp for dark evenings
-XCBC Club jacket
-proper layered clothing & gloves, mitts (please see full equipment and clothing list under “equipment section”
Biathlon Eco- Aim, non-projectile camera rifles are supplied for usage during lessons (price is included in the Biathlon program fee)
A parent or responsible adult must be available to assist with set up and take down.
Coaches are certified Biathlon coaches.
The program is an entry level Biathlon program for approx ages 9-12. Athletes can feed into larger affiliated biathlon clubs after age 12 or when they are ready to shoot on air rifles and 22 calibre rifles.
The Eco-Aim camera rifles are a great training tool with a built in computer system allowing coaches to view the athletes sight target and breathing rhythms while also calculating timing and results.
Training will include range safety protocol and all Eco-Aim rifles will be treated just as any projectile rifle would be treated.
Athletes will be invited to attend and compete in local Kinder Cups which are fun entry level Biathlon races. Eco-Aim rifles will be used for all XCBC Biathlon athletes during these competitions unless other options are presented and training occurs.
Kinder Cup registration requires a $10 recreational Biathlon Canada Membership (please see below).
Biathlon Canada Memberships:
It is mandatory for all XCBC Biathlon athletes and coaches to have a Biathlon Canada Membership.
Athletes select the $10 “recreational or bears athlete” membership. Answer “no” to competing in 2018/2019 (Kinder Cups will be our only competition this season and do not require a racing/competition membership)
Please send your confirmation membership certificate to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Program Further Information
- skate skis that are appropriate for your weight ( please have the camber checked at a reputable ski store for weight) and height (tops curve over the head or longer).
- skate poles- pole top/handle straps should be between chin and nose. Straps should be adjusted so hands are close to the pole.
- skate ski boots that fit well. No lift or rubbing in the heel area. A way to snug them up tightly ie) laces or pull tie.
3 w’s wicking layer (no cotton):
- under layer (wicking layer -to take dampness away from the skin such as polypropylene long underwear or wool (NO cotton!))
- mid layer (warm layer– fleece or wool works well)
- windproof layer (our club jacket and a pair of light windproof pants will work)
A vest is a good to keep your core warm. It is better to dress in multiple thin layers, rather than one bulky one. (you can regulate your temperature better). Be warm but avoid sweating – take off layers as needed and make sure your outer layers are breathable. Being damp is what will make you cold (especially if you have to stop moving)
- appropriate ski socks (no cotton)-You can again use the 3 Ws; wicking, warm, then your boots are the wind layer. It’s better to have two thin socks than one pair of bulky thick socks. If your feet are prone to getting cold, then get a ‘boot warmer’. (It’s a layer you put over your boots that are designed for ski boots and bindings). For kids- a large wool sock over their boot, (with the appropriate holes cut in it to accommodate bindings) will suffice as a boot warmer.
- mitts are warmer than gloves (no cotton). Again, for colder days, layering mitts are a good idea. Some little fleece mittens work well inside a x-country ski mitten for cold days. Instant hand warmers (‘hot shots’) are good if your hands get really cold.
- For shooting/target practice nights, gloves are required
- a toque
- thin neck buff (Lycra)
- sunglasses (for Fridays)
- Headlamp (for evening classes)
- Water bottle and holder (the bottle needs to be covered or it will freeze)
- Snack for after practice
- Skate skis must also be glide waxed regularly. This helps them glide.
Nice to have:
- Balaclava for our coldest days
- Ear warmers or headband for warmer days
Biathlon Lessons – Program Goals:
•gain confidence on skis
•learn new technique & improve skill level
•become a more efficient & graceful skier
•learn ski trail etiquette
•safe rifle handling and practices
•learning how to shoot accurately and timely
Below are some helpful links glide waxing:
West Bragg Creek Trails Report:
Please see “events” calendar for all scheduled program sessions.
Please see “events” calendar for all scheduled program sessions, events and other scheduled XCBC activities.
Biathlon athletes will be invited to attend KinderCup events in the local area.
- Q: Cold weather cutoff? A: -15 air temp -18 wind-chill
- Q: If a session is cancelled? A: An email and/or website post will be sent out by noon the day of.
What Member’s Say
When you really think about it, this is almost the “ideal” program in so many ways. It is local and convenient. It is a “no stress” introduction to a sport that promotes fitness and health for life. It offers competitive opportunities to those who so desire. Finally it happens in a beautiful outdoor environment. I believe there are many sports clubs who seek to fulfill one of these goals, but very few who attempt to fulfill all of them. We are so fortunate to have XCBC in our backyard!
Let me say something. You have an amazing team with awesome support. They really helped me this weekend. This is what I call an “extra mile” in customer relationship. So I give 8 stars for the program theme and if I could, I’d give 10 stars for support.