Getting Involved in Biathlon
Washington Biathlon Association (WBA) and Methow Valley Biathlon (MVB) and have teamed up to provide this guidance for people interested in getting involved in biathlon in Washington state.
WBA is geared towards serving adults with regard to coaching, and is the state's only race organizer, with their winter venue being Stevens Pass Nordic Center. Juniors are welcome and encouraged to participate in their races. MVB coaching is geared towards juniors at this time, with the exception of Try Biathlon described below. MVB practices are held at ranges in Mazama and Winthrop. MVB does not organize races at this time but travels to WBA races and especially events in other states and Canada, where there are many more juniors racing.
1. Try the sport in a super convenient format-MVB's Try Biathlon day during Christmas week and President's Day weekend in February in Mazama, or WBA's Safety Class and Biathlon Introduction every Saturday of race weekends at Stevens Pass. Either option is an ideal way for everyone to get their first exposure to doing the sport. After doing one of these you will have a much better idea of what the sport is all about.
2. Once you know that you want to get more involved in biathlon, the next step is to take one of the clinics offered by WBA for beginners. WBA hosts a weekend-long clinic that covers both skiing and shooting in January at Stevens Pass Nordic Center (this season 1/5-1/6/19). These clinics are ideal opportunities to learn the basics, including the safety, shooting technique, gun maintenance, and ski technique. Adults are strongly encouraged to go this route to acquire biathlon knowledge and technique! Juniors should try to join Methow Valley Biathlon for shooting training and Methow Valley Nordic Team for physical and ski training; part-timers are welcome.
4. Continue to improve your skiing. There are many opportunities and class formats available in the Methow Valley, including clinics and weekly classes offered by Methow Valley Nordic Ski Education Foundation and public lessons offered by Methow Valley Ski School. An especially fun and effective option is the Sun Mountain Camp in December (this season, 12/21-12/23). Stevens Pass Nordic Center also gives lessons, and WBA puts on a ski technique clinic at Stevens Pass for its members who are intermediate and above (this season, 1/20/19). Juniors are strongly encouraged to join the Nordic team nearest to them.
5. Continue to improve your shooting. The best way to stay connected to opportunities for shooting coaching and practice is to join WBA and/or MVB.
See you out there!