The snow that has blanketed Prince Edward Island may be a headache for some, but the province’s biathletes are rejoicing.
Biathlon PEI is hoping an early start to the season will prompt more young people to get involved in the sport.
On Saturday, children aged six to nine years old got their first taste of biathlon at Brookvale Provincial Ski Park — at least the cross-country skiing side. The shooting will wait until they are older.
"It's just about getting across the snow efficiently and more importantly enjoying the process,” coach John Keuper said.
“It's not just about the competition or anything like that. But it’s about enjoying the snow and giving you those skills without really telling you, 'Right leg, right foot,' or whatever."
Biathlon PEI has a top-notch facility at the ski park, but it’s underused and membership hovers around 100. That’s why they’re reaching out to children with no experience on cross-country skis.
"Then you get them into the recreational and competitive athlete stream as well,” said Bob Bentley with Biathlon PEI. “It's all part of a process. And this was the missing link, this learn-to-ski program. So now we have that program filled."