National Cadet Biathlon Championships hit Brookvale

About 130 biathletes are taking part in the National cadet biathalon competition in Brookvale, P.E.I.

'We've got some of the best young people'

Competitors line up at the start, waiting to begin their race. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Cadets from across Canada are in Brookvale, P.E.I. to take part in the National Cadet Biathlon Championships.

Biathlon is an event which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. 

More than 250 people are on P.E.I. for the competition including athletes, coaches and families. (Laura Meader/CBC)

About 130 cadets will take part in four days of competition. They had to qualify in order to participate.

"We've got some of the best young people that are representing their provinces," said Capt. Scott Nixon, a regional training officer for biathlon.

"The idea is to ski as fast and hard as you can, come into the range, calm down and shoot as accurately as you can," he said. 

'Speed, stamina and endurance'

This is the second consecutive year the championship is being hosted at Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park.

Paralympian Arendz started biathlon thanks to the cadet program when he was involved in the cadet corps in Cornwall, P.E.I. 

P.E.I. competitor Nathan Scott says he prefers shooting to skiing most days. 'It's not as tiring,' he says. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"Speed, stamina and endurance, those are the three main things you need in a biathlete," said Nathan Scott, a member of the P.E.I. team. 

Scott said it's great to take part in a national competition and see really strong athletes from across the country. 

'You need to spend time getting your heart rate, down because if you go in there with a high heart rate, you're not going to hit anything,' says P.E.I. competitor Nathan Scott. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"It's incredible seeing them," he said. 

"Some of the teams here, they're taught by Olympic athletes and they train year-round,"

'The competitiveness is really nice,' says Jessica Feliciano from the Saskatchewan team. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Jessica Feliciano, of the Saskatchewan team, said she is new to the sport — it's her first time at the nationals — but she enjoys competing.

"It's a task, but it's really fun," said Feliciano. 

She said for her, it's all about focusing up to go as fast as possible. 

Sport growing

Nixon says the sport is becoming more popular. 

"Historically biathlon has been a military sport, and it's existed quite some time that way," he said.

"It's grown over the years and now it's quite a large activity."

Nixon said competitors range in age from 12-18 years old. 

Closing ceremonies take place on March 9. 

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