On Saturday 24 January 2015, air cadets from the Cornwall Area competed at the Eastern Ontario Area biathlon competition, held at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Quebec. Eight cadets, who are youth between the ages of 12-18 comprised the team from the 325 Cornwall Kiwanis Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron.
One of the team’s athletes performed particularly well, placing 3rd in his category of Junior Males. Paul-André Moncrieff, 14 years old from Cornwall, Ontario, will be representing Eastern Ontario at the provincial competition in Sault Saint Marie at the beginning of February. This was Paul-André’s second year on the biathlon team.
The race, consisting of 5kms of cross country skiing (Of which most competitors use the skate skiing technique) is combined with the precision of marksmanship, shooting 10 targets with a .22 Anshutz rifle. Paul-André had a total race time of 33 minutes and 15 seconds, hitting 6 of the 10 targets.
The team has been training hard the last month, using the local facilities of the Cornwall Handgun Club as well as the excellent Summerstown Ski Trails.
Paul-André has been skiing since he was four years old, but only recently began skate skiing, which is a more strenuous method relying on balance, but results in a much faster ski time. Paul-André began skate skiing when he was inspired and instructed by local Dough Boeckh. The team also had the instructional assistance of Tanya Deeks and Lina Lapiere.
This is the fourth year for the squadron to have cadets compete in the competition under the coaching of Capt Sandy McDonald, who is also the unit’s Commanding Officer. This is also the second year that the squadron sends a cadet to the Provincial level of competition.
When asked about the upcoming provincial competition, Paul-André indicated that he is excited about going.