Erin cadets display talents at winter biathlon event

ERIN – A local air cadet squadron has learned not only to embrace winter, but to use it as a tool for team building, fitness training and problem solving.

Erin’s 242 Ross Ferguson Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron operates and trains a biathlon team of cadets who recently competed in a two-day event near Collingwood.

On Jan. 18 and 19, Officer Cadet Mahoney and Cadet Warrant Officer Second Class Kaitlyn Dornhoff led seven cadets in a training and competition weekend that combined cross-country skiing and air-rifle marksmanship.

Cadets honed their skills and learned to rely on each-other to accomplish goals in this fun and challenging sport, officials say.

The local cadets did  well and are waiting to find out if any of their teams will advance to the provincial and national level competitions.

According to Mahoney, “Biathlon trains it all: athleticism, marksmanship, teamwork, leadership, independence, determination —  everything the cadet movement is about.”

“Every year keeps getting better and better,” agreed Dornhoff. “The training has always been great, but now we are able to get more practice time with the skis because we have our own for the squadron. The practice range where we practiced a ‘run and shoot’ was great practice for the competition. Everyone puts in a fantastic effort and I am very proud of my team.”

The 242 Ross Ferguson Squadron in Erin and its biathlon team invites anyone who is interested to visit the squad and see what it’s all about. Regular meetings begin at 6:45pm on Tuesday evenings at the Erin branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, 12 Dundas Street East in Erin.

For more information contact Captain Eugene Sidlar at 519-323-7867 or email