Australia’s only on-snow biathlon range at Mt Hotham has had a $100,000 revamp, thanks to the Victorian Government’s Shooting Sports Facilities Program.
Phase 1 of the project had seen the expansion of the shooting range from 12 to 15 lanes, redeveloped the range overall, and meant the Hotham Biathlon Arena was now able to host even more national and international events.
Following the official opening of the Hotham Biathlon Arena, around 90 athletes aged 8 to 80 participated in the annual Australian Biathlon Championships.
Biathlon is a small but rapidly growing sport in Victoria. It’s a Winter Olympics sport that combines cross country skiing and target rifle shooting.
The second stage of the redevelopment in coming months will see further accessibility improvement to the range, and the addition of a roller ski track to allow Summer Biathlon Championship events.
Australia Biathlon is also receiving $70,000 funding over 3.5 years from the Supporting Victorian Sport and Recreation Program to increase participation in the sport, and provide greater support to participants from training to coaching.
A key focus of Australian Biathlon under the Supporting Victorian Sport and Recreation program is increasing junior and female participation in the sport. Initiatives in these two areas are already producing fantastic results, with two thirds of participants at the championships women and girls and almost half 18 years or younger.
Phase 2 of the project will take place after the snow has melted, and will involve sealing a track around the range area, which will allow the venue to host Summer Biathlon events including running and rollerskiing.