P.E.I. biathlon

Training for the winter sport of biathlon at Brookvale, P.E.I. (CBC)

The sport of biathlon is gaining in popularity on P.E.I, says the sport's organizing group.          

Four years ago only a handful of Islanders took part in the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and target shooting, says Biathalon PEI.

Now there are more than 50 people participating.

"We have a very enthusiastic group and it gets bigger and bigger every week," said Steven Woodman, the group's vice-president.

The increased interest is partly because Island athletes are competing on the national and international stage, said Woodman.

Mark Arendz competed in the Vancouver Paralympics and will represent Canada again this winter in Sochi.

For many athletes, that's inspiring, said Woodman.

"They see that and it encourages them, gives them goals and lets them know that even if you're from here, you can do it."

Woodman said he's expecting the sport will continue to grow as P.E.I. gets set to host the youth and junior world trials in February.