US Biathlon announces Women's Coaching Initiative

US Biathlon has announced the launch of its Women's Coaching Initiative, designed to increase the number, experience and visibility of female biathlon coaches nationally and internationally, and to inspire future generations of female coaches and athletes.

This programme, which builds on the coaching apprenticeship opportunities provided over the past several years, will provide formal mentorship and professional development opportunities for female coaches from all Nordic backgrounds to gain biathlon coaching experience at all levels. 

The US Biathlon Women's Coaching Initiative will provide women coaches from all Nordic backgrounds - biathlon and cross-country coaches, wax technicians and former athletes - with opportunities throughout the season to integrate with US Biathlon staff and teams on-site at domestic and international U.S. Biathlon and IBU events. 

"It is critical that we continue to push for more women in staff and support roles at the highest levels of racing," said Kelsey Dickinson, U.S. Biathlon Board Athlete Representative and current US Biathlon Senior National Team athlete. 

Kelsey Dickinson at this year's BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding. GETTY IMAGES
Kelsey Dickinson at this year's BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding. GETTY IMAGES

"Having more women coaches will help raise the bar for everyone because a diversity of backgrounds and experience on staff allows a team to be more dynamic. Not only is this good for performance, but increasing the number of women in coaching roles will contribute to a safe and professional atmosphere for everyone," she added. 

This career development opportunity is designed to help women who are seriously interested in a career in coaching/biathlon improve their skills and learn from the best US Biathlon coaches, waxers and support staff. Participants will work with US Biathlon team staff in a variety of roles based on their experience level, interests and current team needs. 

"We are very excited to introduce this program that will encourage and support more women to become biathlon coaches, which is critical to an inclusive and vibrant sport. "Our goal is to provide professional development opportunities for women at all levels, along with flexibility that lowers the barriers to participation," said Jack Gierhart, President and CEO of US Biathlon and former US Fencing chied executive

Tim Burke is one of the greatest US biathlon athletes of all time. GETTY IMAGES
Tim Burke is one of the greatest US biathlon athletes of all time. GETTY IMAGES

The Women's Coaching Initiative Selection Panel, composed of female coaches, athlete representatives and US Biathlon staff, will review each applicant. Applications are due by 5pm ET on 29 May 2024 and selected applicants will be announced by 5 June 2024.

Women's Coaching Initiative Selection Panel 

-Eileen Carey, USA Paralympic Nordic Program Director and Women's Ski Coaches Board Member. 

-Kelsey Dickinson, US Biathlon Athlete Representative and World Cup Athlete, and Women's Ski Coaches Executive Director. 

-Kristen Bourne, US Ski and Snowboard XC D Team Coach. 

-Lowell Bailey, US Biathlon Director of High Performance, World Champion and Olympian. 

-Margie Freed, US Biathlon and US Ski Team World Cup athlete. 

-Tim Burke, US Biathlon Director of Athlete Development, Olympian and World Championship medallist.