School raises support for women’s biathlon team
The Canadian Women’s Biathlon Team visited Cambridge Christian School (CCS) recently and gave an energetic presentation to a group of students, staff and community members.
The visit was part of a three-day fundraising tour in the region for the team, who rely on sponsors for a portion of their financing.
Pamela and Philip O’Dell, whose daughter is a Grade 1 student at CCS, were chairs of the fundraising committee responsible for bringing three of the Canadian Women’s Biathlon Team, Zina Kocher, Rosanna Crawford and Megan Imrie to the area Oct. 15 – 17.
A fourth member, Sandra Keith, was unable to attend due to a previous commitment in Europe.
Kocher and Imrie have both qualified to compete in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games while Crawford “is in an excellent position to qualify by Christmas,” says CCS parent and active volunteer, Janice Powell.
The hour-long school assembly with Imrie and Crawford included a video demonstrating the women’s sport, which is a combination of cross-country skiing and target shooting.
The athletes had the students mime putting on the gear used in the sport, as well as offered a chance for three youth to try their shooting skills using a laser range target system.
Imrie also shared stories about her determination through four different qualifying races and how she missed qualifying in each case by only a few seconds but kept racing until she achieved her goal.
“Her storytelling really portrayed to the students how you can achieve big things with great determination and hard work,” says Powell.
“Overall, the message that Rosanna and Megan stressed throughout the entire presentation was to ‘dream big and you can be whatever you want to be and accomplish great things by never giving up on a dream.’”
Powell notes the most exciting part of the event was the opportunity for the students, all of whom wore red and white for the presentation, to meet the biathletes and get their autographs.
“The students are eagerly waiting for February to watch the Olympics and cheer for the ladies they met through this rare opportunity,” she says.
CCS raised $425 for the team by collecting donations and selling chocolates, an amount Powell says is noteworthy considering the school has 175 students.
Team members commented that they enjoyed coming to CCS as the students “showed great school spirit, were well behaved and very engaged in the presentation.”
The O’Dells are hoping to arrange for the biathlon team to visit again after the Olympics.
In addition to sponsorships, the Canadian women’s biathlon team receives some funding through associations Sport Canada, Biathlon Canada and Own The Podium.