A Memorable Training Week for IBU International Youth Camp in Lenzerheide is in the books. Roland Arena, in the region of Graubünden, Switzerland, welcomed 73 young biathletes from 22 nations, showcasing the international spirit of the sport.
Lenzerheide, with its great training facilities, is preparing to host the BMW IBU World Championships in 2025. But before that, this youth camp was a legacy of their commitment to developing young athletes and promoting international unity. The camp was supported by the Olympic Solidarity Funds, emphasizing the global importance of nurturing the next generation of sports talent.
From distant corners of the world, including countries like Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and Greece (and many more), athletes from the 2006 and 2007 cohorts, along with around 20 trainers, gathered in Graubünden. United by their shared passion for biathlon, these athletes represented the future of this sport.
At the heart of their transformative week was the Roland Arena. This venue will host the Biathlon World Cup this year from December 14th to 17th, and the World Championships in 2025. The athletes underwent a nice training routine, guided by an elite Swiss coaching team. Notably, Martin Jäger, an experienced Swiss World Cup athlete, and the 2021 Sprint European Champion, along with Nadya Skardino, the 2018 relay Olympic champion with Belarus, lent their expertise. Selina Gasparin, Switzerland's only Olympic medalist in biathlon so far, was also at the forefront, guiding the athletes.
Every athlete, regardless of their proficiency level, found something to challenge and inspire them. The sports agenda covered a broad spectrum of activities like:
Enhancing Strength and Mobility
Dynamic Rollerski Training
Focused Shooting Exercises
Energizing Running Sessions
Furthermore, an exciting mountain hike captured the true essence of the region and the sport, and a friendly contest was one of the many highlights of this week-long camp. It culminated in an individual competition, challenging the athletes to apply their week's learnings.
Nela Losovska from the Czech Republic and Silvano Demarmels from Switzerland secured the first place.
View the complete results from the LENZI Youth Camp Race below:Results
Understanding the digital age, the camp highlighted the responsible and effective use of social media. With insightful sessions guided by experts, including a unique social media contest, participants learned to advocate for lesser-known sports in the digital realm. Jasmin Schnider, in collaboration with the University of Applied Science Graubünden, led this lecture.
Jointly organized by Hartwig Birrer, the Head of Youth Biathlon at Swiss-Ski, Sandra Richter of the Roland Arena, and Jürg Capol, the CEO of the World Cup and the WCH in Lenzerheide, the camp's spirit left a lasting impression.
Reflecting on the week's success, Hartwig Birrer said:
Apart from a few minor issues, we are very satisfied with how the week went.
Jürg Capol expressed his satisfaction:
Experiencing the spirit of the IBU Youth Camp was a sheer joy. Witnessing the international biathlon community find comfort in this setting heightens our excitement for the upcoming events.
Hosting this camp at the Roland Arena in Lenzerheide signified the commitment to the aspirations of young athletes, and gave them an important insight into international biathlon training.