Winter Sports

Military Biathlon Ready For International Revamp

The aim is to increase the number of forces athletes involved in the Great Britain team.

British military biathlon is set to undergo a change as bosses look to increase the number of forces athletes representing Great Britain.

The sport, which combines skiing and shooting, has proved popular with the military services but that has failed to lead to personnel going into the GB team.

However, a development programme driven by military biathlon chiefs aims to give more forces competitors the opportunities to get involved with international biathlon.

Currently, the military biathlon athletes are taking part in Exercise Rucksack in Germany. The competition is the Army, Inter Service and British National Nordic and Ski Championship.

Military biathlon chiefs have three key aims in the coming years:

  • To give talented young skiers a real chance to go the Olympics through a development programme.
  • To boost the number of women competitors.
  • To give members of each of the three armed services equal opportunities to pursue biathlon.
Colonel Lee Daley is chair of the UK Armed Forces Nordic Sport team and believes biathlon is one of the most difficult sports there is.

He said: "You have to argue quite strongly with those that have never seen it and how arduous and challenging Nordic skiing particularly is.

“To break into top level they've got to be on full time training."

Lance Corporal Adam Peacock is a Royal Marine Arctic warfare specialist and feels quite at home in the competition.

He said: “One minute you're out on the tracks pushing yourself your body to its physical limits then the next minute you're having to come in calm yourself, compose yourself and mentally focus on a range and try and hit all the targets.”

Peacock is one of very few forces personnel who have represented Britain in international biathlon in recent years.

Another military man with international pedigree is the Army’s Adam Williams. He has even higher ambitions for his biathlon career.

"I represented my country at IBU Cup level," he said.

"There's still a level above that which is World Cup and that's what I'm aiming to achieve and in later years to represent Great Britain in the Olympics."