The first IBU Para Biathlon webinar was a full success, attracting over 100 live participants from across the globe and more than 150 registrations from the biathlon family. The webinar featured eight Para Biathlon experts, sharing their unique insights and experiences.
The webinar opened with inspiring words from IBU President Olle Dahlin and IBU Secretary General Max Cobb. Their message set the tone for a session focused on strengthening Para Biathlon and urging National Federations to consider a para biathlon strategy for the future. This webinar experienced an impressive attendance, reflecting a significant interest and commitment within the biathlon community towards the development of Para Biathlon.
The webinar featured am impressive line-up of speakers, each bringing unique insights and great experience with the sport of Para Biathlon:
Eileen Carey (USA): The well-known coach and program director provided insights on the details of Para Biathlon, including its rules and classifications, based on her rich experience with the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Team.
Mark Arendz (CAN): The accomplished four-time Paralympian offered a personal account of his challenges and triumphs in Para Biathlon, providing an athlete's perspective to the discussion.
Jens Schjerven (NOR): Sharing his experiences within the Norwegian Biathlon Association, Jens discussed effective strategies for nurturing Para Biathlon development.
John Jaques (CAN): With his extensive background in coaching, John addressed key aspects of para biathlon and requirements for hosting competitions.
Jayne Kavanagh (GBR): Jayne shed light on fostering inclusive practices and accessibility in Para Biathlon, drawing from her leadership role in GB Snowsport and the organisation's journey so far.
Panel Discussion: Moderated by Riikka Rakic (IBU), the experienced trio Anaïs Bescond (FRA), Ralf Rombach (GER), and Leandro Ribela (BRA) collectively discussed the differences and similarities in their national circumstances and forward-looking strategies in the coaching and development of Para Biathlon.
The webinar's primary goal was to inspire IBU NFs to develop Para Biathlon within their countries. This includes understanding the frames of IBU's governance of the sport and fostering collaboration with national organizations currently responsible for the sport.
This webinar also marks the last IBU Academy webinar of the year. As we look forward to the new year, the IBU Academy is excited to announce the program for webinar series for 2024 very soon!