Hay River Club Report for 2012-13


PK with coaching support from Brenda Johnson & Laura Aubrey
10 bears 11 and younger
Don-2 teens, Calista Burke & Agnes Fabian
Waiting list. Participation limited by rifles. Won’t take more than 10.
Season: Started in November finished in March. Our training is limited to on snow season because our participants are busy with school sports and competitions such as cross country running, soccer and hockey.
Training: November held a coaches training and camp with Pat Bobinski and Gail Ninimma. 6 from Ft. Smith & 5 Hay River. One day community coaching and second day practical in field with Gail.
Purpose was to provide more skilled coaching support and to give new coaches confidence as well as renew skills of more experienced coaches such as BJ, Don T and PK. Called it Old Farts Refresher Course.
Competitions: Participated in Hay River and YK Polar Cups. Unfortunately our efforts to host Polar Cup were thwarted by cold on three different occasions.
Our biathletes also competed in the Ptub ski race and several local events including the Loppet and Muffaloose step and slide.
Snowshoe: Mid January a workshop with Victor Marie on snowshoeing was lots of fun and very successful. We hope to try it again this season since it opens up opportunities during the colder season.
AWG. Most of our participants are too young for the AWG 2014 (although in the Juvenile category they would have no problem with the distance and are all natural shooters so if we are short in that category they may be considered based on parent approval) however I am encouraging them to have 2016 in their sights and hope to get to at least one out of NWT event this season such as Western’s or an Alberta Cup.
2013-14 goals:
Enhance coaching experience on the range for parent/coaches
Host a Polar Cup biathlon race
We have two or three athletes who are more dedicated and accomplished than the others and I would like to add some practice time for them specifically on the range and on their ski skills.
Raise funds for travel to an additional race and for one more rifle.
Challenges: Serious damage to our range in September by vandals. WIP to restore. & on going effort to work with NWTPC to light range and stadium loop. ADVICE?
Community Report – Hay River 2012-2013
The Hay River Ski Club’s Biathlon Program had another busy year in 2012-2013.
But can you say snow – yikes, record snow falls and cold temperatures resulted in many cancelled and rescheduled events! Nonetheless, our committed group of athletes, parents and volunteers persevered and the season was another success indeed!
Over the course of the 2012-2103 season, we had 13 youth participating in our program. We are always excited to have a few new biathletes join our program, and it was nice to welcome the DaRosa’s and Plamondon’s to our group! Thanks to donations from the Legion, the Elks, Ring’s Pharmacy and the Hay River Ski Club, we were able to expand our range to 16 lanes to accommodate our ever expanding team. 
As we move into the current season, we have experienced yet another surge of interest in our program. At this point, we have 21 youth who are interested in being a part of the team this season. We are very fortunate to have developed our coaching base in the past year, and we will rely on these newly certified coaches as we try to accommodate as many new biathletes as we can!
Our Club also extends a welcome to Robert Plamondon who has taken over the role of ‘Head Coach’ for Hay River Biathlon. With Andrew being a team member, I will certainly continue to be a part of our program, assisting and mentoring Robert over the course of the year in his new role. As a former competitor in biathlon, Robert brings this racing experience to the team and will be a definite asset to our program.
We have started our shooting program for the upcoming season, making use of the Gun Range to work on our shooting and to do some combo work. We have also participated in our first Biathlon Canada Postal Shoot competition as well. We are looking forward to moving back into the ‘Home on the Range’ soon as we continue to prepare and wait for the arrival of the snow.   We have also started our fundraising as we prepare for the costs associated with travelling to races in the North and in Alberta this winter.
Other Highlights
1)     To start the season, our Club participated in three Biathlon Canada Postal Shoot competitions. Our biathletes all had very solid scores, including four top place finishes - look for the biathletes wearing a Biathlon Canada head gear as they are National Champions! The competitions are a great way to help the athletes focus as we started our season with a precision shooting program.
2)     Three senior members of our team travelled to Canmore, Ab with Coach Doug Swallow for the Calforex Cup/ Nor-am Cup #1. Angeline Magtibay, Christopher Lirette and Andrew Lirette all achieved solid results for Team NWT at this first competition of the season.
3)     The Hay River Ski Club hosted two Polar Cups this past season. Our Club also travelled to the third Polar Cup race of the season in Yellowknife. The Polar Cups are very much of a learning experience as they provide a means of orientating the new biathletes to the various race formats and for the experienced biathletes to compete against fellow competitors from Yellowknife and Fort Smith. With most of our athletes medalling, the Polar Cup races also serve to build the athlete’s self- confidence and enjoyment of the sport as well!
4)     In February, we travelled to the Alberta Championship race in Hinton, Alta. For most of our team, this was the only ‘southern’ race of the season. Despite the tough competition, we did manage to win three medals on the first day of competition. The second day of racing was cancelled due to – what else – 14 inches of snow! It made for a long drive home. We were also excited to be joined by Calista from Fort Smith for this race as well!
5)     Coach Pat Bobinksi travelled with biathletes Angeline Magtibay and Andrew Lirette to the Canadian Biathlon Championships in Whistler, BC March of 2012.  Unfortunately, Christopher Lirette was unable to race due to injury. The biathletes were excited to race on the 2010 Olympic course and represented the NWT proudly in doing so. Andrew Lirette had particularly solid race results in his first time competing at the National Championships.
6)     Our season concluded with the Ptub Cross Country Ski Championships in early April. The biathlon team packed away their rifles and enjoyed the bright sunshine and skiing conditions.  Long term parent and volunteers Shirley Gutierrez and Kelly Lizardo were recognized by the Club for their many contributions over the years. Another fun event and terrific way to close out our season!
We wish Angeline Magtibay and Christopher Lirette well as they are now attending post secondary school in the south.   Christopher is studying Exercise Science at Lethbridge College and Angeline is at Augustana University in Camrose.  Angeline is planning on continuing with her training and development in biathlon as a member of the Augustana Vikings Varsity Team in biathlon.
Congratulations to Christopher Lirette on receiving the Sport North 2013 Junior Male Athlete of the Year from Sport North. Secondly, I was truly honoured to be recognized as the NWT Coach of the Year by Sport North as well. Thank you to NWT Biathlon for submitting our names to Sport North for these awards.
Congratulations to Pat Bobinksi on being presented with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in recognition of his long term service and dedication to youth in the NWT. Pat is the heart & soul of biathlon in the north and there could not be a more deserving recipient! Congratulations and, as always, thank you Pat!
We are very excited to see that Hay River biathlete Brendan Green has recovered from his back injury and is now competing for a spot on Canada’s Olympic 2014 team. We are all cheering him on and wish him well in his upcoming competitions! Perhaps Hay River will get to host our second “Green Day” as we cheer on hometown biathlete on in Sochi! 
Looking ahead, Hay River will be hosting the Arctic Winter Games Territorial Trials in early December. These trials promise to be very competitive with biathletes from across the north striving to be a part of Team NWT at the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks. 
THANK YOU to the many dedicated parents & volunteers of the Hay River Ski Club for providing yet another fun-filled and challenging biathlon program for the youth of Hay River.
THANK YOU to the dedicated volunteers with NWT Biathlon for your leadership and commitment to the sport of biathlon in the north!
 It was a fantastic year!
Respectfully submitted to NWT Biathlon,
Chuck Lirette, Hay River Community Representative