Give biathlon a try this weekend in Rossland

Black Jack Biathlon club will be having a fun event this weekend for people to try out the sport

Black Jack Biathlon club will be having a fun event this weekend for people to try out the sport.

Biathlon coach Gord Gibson said it will get people used to biathlon. The event is split into a youth and adult group.

“We’ll do about a half hour of rifle instruction to begin with, just so they get used to using the rifle if they’ve never used one, before shooting at the paper target,” Gibson said. “Then we’ll have a bit of a race.”

Gibson said what they generally do in biathlon is ski and shoot and then ski and have another shoot then finish.

“It’ll be about a 500 metre ski each time plus two bouts of shooting,” he said. “We’ll give them probably 20 bullets in total to do the 10 targets.”

He said as it is just a fun event, they won’t be timing it. It’s more just to see how many targets you can hit when you’re skiing and shooting.

The event is for anybody that can ski and you don’t need to bring a rifle.

“I have rifles and all the requirements to carry the rifles,” he said. “So as long as I’m there anybody can use my rifles.”

The under 16 category will start at noon and the adult category will start at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

No registration is required.

“Just show up. We’ll be charging $10 a person. That covers the target fees and ammo and insurance for the event,” he said. “All you need is skis and the ability to be comfortable with laying down in the prone position. We have mats to lay on too.”

They will be having the event regardless of the weather, so even if it’s bad, they’ll be out there. He said the forecast is telling him the weather is supposed to be good though.

Though biathlon is generally a skate skiing event, they will have tracks set for classic skiing,

And while there is no competitive biathlon event this year in Rossland, Gibson said the team will be sending six or seven athletes to Kelowna for a biathlon event there. There would also be the winter games in Vernon, but there isn’t anyone eligible from this area.

The biathlon track is located on the northern side of the Black Jack ski boundary and is most easily reached by following the highway eight kilometres past the Red Mountain turnoff heading out of town towards the Nancy Greene Summit.

“That’s where our parking lot is, although when I say parking lot, that depends on if it is plowed,” he said. “Otherwise, we just park on the road.”

He also hopes they will have a sign up that will mark where the biathlon will take place.

Last year, for the same kind of event, they had about 15 kids and about 15 adults.

All ages are welcome.