Outdoor center offering youth roller skiing, shooting training
FORT KENT, Maine — The Fort Kent Outdoor Center is offering students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to learn the sport of biathlon, and to possibly compete at international competitions.
Carl Theriault, FKOC president, is coaching the upcoming Jalbert Youth Ski Program and said youngsters of all experience levels are welcome.
“I’m really focused on trying to maintain the sport of biathlon in the town,” Theriault said. “I’m trying to keep the program alive and really want to get kids involved this year.”
Theriault volunteers his time coaching the sport, as he did during a summer session of the Jalbert Youth Ski Program. Three of the 15 athletes who participated in that session — Matt Kelly, Dolcie Tanguay, and Mya Eno — traveled to Jericho, Vermont, in August to compete in the North American Biathlon Roller Ski Championships.
“We skied a lot, hit some targets and we had a lot of fun. It was a great learning experience,” Theriault said. “It is a great week of training and competing where first time competitors can ski and shoot right along side Olympians for the United States and Canada.”
Kelly even placed third in the junior men’s category at the event.
Theriault is hoping that a student of the Jalbert Youth Ski Program might even qualify to compete at the Biathlon Junior World Championships in Slovakia, as several students of the program, including Fort Kent’s Cody Johnson, have in the past.
The fall session, to be held over six Saturdays beginning Sept. 15, will include instruction on shooting in the morning and roller skiing in the afternoon.
The program will accept late registrations for anyone unable to make it to the first Saturday practice. Students also may choose to participate in just shooting or just roller skiing if they prefer.
The program will provide rifles and ski equipment, and asks for those who are shooting to pay $30 to cover ammunition costs. Theriault also is seeking parent volunteers who are willing to help out, especially during the shooting sessions.
“I’m just passionate about the sport. It’s a great opportunity for kids in Aroostook County and I want to make sure we’re able to keep giving them that opportunity,” Theriault said.
For more information about the Jalbert Youth Ski Program or to register for the fall session, contact Carl Theriault at email@example.com