Two local air cadets have earned a chance to represent British Columbia and will be off to Prince Edward Island next month for the National Cadet Biathlon Championships, held in Brookvale, P.E.I., March 5-10.
Jeremy Ferland and Daniel Gilfillan are cadets at 386 Komox Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Comox and this is their first opportunity to represent their squadron and their province at the national level. Local biathlon coach, civilian instructor Brad Matchett, will also be joining them as the assistant coach for the provincial team.
The cadets were amongst 82 cadets from across British Columbia competing at Mount Washington Feb. 9-10 during the Provincial Biathlon Championships, testing their fitness, teamwork, and marksmanship skills over 4.5-kilometre relay course and a 4.5 km sprint course, placing first in their relay category. Cadets competed in three categories based on age, Cadet Junior (ages 12-13), Cadet Senior (ages 14-16) and Cadet Youth (ages 17-18) over the two-day competition, with 10 cadets being selected to represent B.C.
Community support helped lead the cadets to their success at the provincial competition as this was the first year in recent years that the team has received sponsorship from local businesses including Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC, OK Tire, Dunn Rite Towing & Recovery, Dr. Patrick Johnson, Dr. Christopher Kippel, A & E Marine, Monterra West Homes, and Carstar Collision. This community sponsorship not only enabled the cadets to have additional practices leading up to the competition, but also assisted the team in purchasing some much-needed equipment.
The cadet biathlon program is a recreational activity that has produced Olympians such as B.C.’s Emma Lunder. The cadets learn valuable skills through the program that develop self-discipline, increased confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
The cadet program aims to develop in youth ages 12-18 the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, promote physical fitness and stimulate the interest of youth in sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.