Cadet Aidan Wrigley, 12, of Sooke, took on a provincial biathlon competition last weekend at Mt. Washington.
One of only three cadets from 848 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Langford to compete at the provincial level, Wrigley made the cut in his first year of the sport.
“Biathlon is a great workout. It destroys you, but it’s fun and it brings together so many things I like – teamwork, sport, range, skiing – it’s now my favourite sport,” Wrigley said.
Wrigley’s friend, Thomas Coakley, was his ski partner for the patrol race on Feb. 3. In that race, cadets must stay within 30 metres of each other and ski penalty laps for missed targets on the range.
“I left hockey after getting several injuries and my friend suggested I try cadets. I’ve done both skiing and marksmanship but never together. I was surprised at how much I like cadets, and biathlon. I’ve learned so much, about everything from leadership to aviation and my marksmanship has really improved,” Wrigley said.
More than 80 cadets competed, testing their fitness, skiing, teamwork and marksmanship skills against the best cadet biathlon athletes in the province in hopes of achieving a spot on the B.C. National Cadet Biathlon Team and attending the National Cadet Biathlon Championship March 5 to 10 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Team Canada 2018 Olympic biathlon athlete Emma Lunder was first introduced to her sport through the cadet program in Vernon, B.C.
The cadet program aims to develop in youth ages 12 to 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.