April 1, 2023

Biathlon Alberta Adds ‘Non-Binary’ Race Category

2 min read

This year, Alberta biathlon will have an additional option to choose from in order to compete as a result of a vote taken by the governing body of the sport to add a non-binary category to its registrations.

Athletes aged 17 and older will be able to register to compete in the biathlon, which is a sport that combines Nordic skiing and rifle shooting. Athletes will have the option of competing as either a male, a female, or a

According to Elmar Heger, the general manager of the Biathlon Alberta organization, “I heard of athletes that left our sport because they didn’t feel included.”

“And that was kind of what triggered the interest or the motivation to bring this up before the board,” the presenter continued.

The action is being taken as a component of a more comprehensive inclusion program, which also involves outreach to Indigenous groups and adapted athletes.

“We want to be open and inviting to everyone, and if there is a talent that would leave the sport just because they don’t feel included in our community, that would obviously be a very unfortunate thing,” Heger added.

The announcement is being hailed as positive by a number of advocates.

Anna Murphy, a community advocate for the 2SLGBTQIA+ group, stated that “there are very much practical ways to guarantee that you are putting your ally-ship on show.”

“For these children, it will be possible for them to see themselves within the context of their community. They will be able to see themselves within the context of the extracurricular activities that they participate in. These children are going to be made to feel secure.”

Bane Hicks-Gallichan, a member of Skipping Stone, stated that “there are not a lot of spaces for non-binary and gender-diverse persons, especially in a sporting setting.”

“To have this right now, at this very moment in history, is just… It has a profound effect on you. And I find a great deal of happiness in doing so.”

According to their website, Biathlon Canada has just lately published a policy on gender inclusiveness. Although it does not feature a distinct non-binary category, it does state that it is continuing to work with athletes, coaches, and gender-inclusion specialists in order to continue building up their strategy.

Canmore will play host to the opening competition of the 2022-2023 season on November 26. The event’s organizers do not yet know whether or not any athletes will register to compete in the newly created non-binary category in biathlon.

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