Youth Training in Optical Biathlon with the EcoAims camera based optic rifle

You may notice a new sport on the West Bragg Creek trails when you are out enjoying this beautiful multi use recreational area. XC Bragg Creek Ski & Bike Society has introduced a new program this year- youth Biathlon, a combination of skate skiing and marksmanship.  Young athletes ages 9-12 are experiencing this sport for the first time while being coached by certified Biathlon coaches. This is an exciting new program allowing local youth to experience this Olympic sport in complete safety at very low cost.

The EcoAims camera based rifles are a non-projectile, non-invasive rifle allowing coaches to view what the athlete sees through their site. Portable target systems are hooked up via wires to the rifle and computer system to relay information of on target hits, misses and timing. The EcoAims camera system is like a high-fidelity Nintendo, is battery powered, completely portable and emission free.  The EcoAim rifle simulator has the shape and feel of a biathlon rifle but it cannot fire a projectile.  The rifle simulator contains a camera which reads the infrared emitter on the target. A hit or miss is registered on the target with red or green LED lights.  A control unit records the accuracy of the athlete.  The EcoAims system is so precise that Olympic level athletes incorporate it into their training regime.

Athletes at this age do not ski while carrying their rifles on their backs – rifles are kept on the rifle stand at all times.     There is no environmental damage or strain on the eco-system. All range and equipment is set up and taken down before and after practice, being a temporary set up.

Our young XC Bragg Creek athletes were in Canmore this week competing in their first biathlon race called the Kinder Cup. Competing alongside other Biathlon clubs who use air rifles and 22’s, the EcoAims system is still treated with the same gun safety protocol and competitions run parallel to each other. This is an exciting time for Southern Alberta to be introducing this sport to more children around the province, especially since the best athletes in the World will be competing at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon in Canmore on Feb 7-10, 2019.  Information on the World cup can be found here:

XC Bragg Creek Biathlon Programs will run in the West Bragg Creek public lands area on Sunday mornings & Tuesday evenings. For more information about our programs, visit us at: