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Masters European Winter Camp, Italy

The Masters European Winter Biathlon camp is open to all Australian biathlon over 35 years of age. It was held in the beautiful town of Livigno in Italy.  This was the first year and all agreed it was an amazing experience.  

 

The Masters group consisted of four biathletes of various ages, experience and objectives.  Three biathletes from our branch and we were lucky to be joined by Laura from the United States. The 3 week camp catered for everyone with a mixture of training, fun and races.

The first day we witnessed the opening of the new Livigno Biathlon range by Dorothea Wierer and Thomas Bormolini. This was to be our regular training venue for target shooting.   

Most days consisted of training at the range or ski technique training. Livigno has some of the best cross country ski trails in the world. Under the tuition of our coaches we made big improvements to our ski technique.  

In addition to the on-snow training gym sessions were held at the excellent Aquagranda sports centre. The sessions varied from intense pilates, to stretching,  strength and recovery sessions.  Each session was supervised by a fitness instructor or coach.  I found the pilates session to be particularly good.  

On some afternoons the masters did a recovery session of jogging on the snow covered walking tracks or classic cross country skiing.  

There were two races this year, a 1 km sprint and a pair of short Biathlon races. Each tested our mettle especially as we were competing with much younger athletes from Australia,  New Zealand,  Italy and Brazil.  

It wasn’t all hard work though.  There was plenty of time for fun activities. These included:

● classic skiing to the Swiss border and then back for a traditional Livignoese style lunch. 

● day trip to the Isolaccia biathlon range. 

● catching the scenic red train, "Bernina Express", across the mountains to St Moritz. 

● a tour of the local dairy factory including cheese and gelato tasting. 

● go Karting on ice. 

● snowshoeing up a steep ski run to have dinner at a mountain restaurant.  

Italy and Livigno was welcoming with excellent food (that wasn’t expensive) and friendly locals. John and I were lucky enough to attend Christmas mass, Christmas lunch and New Year's Eve with my adopted Italian family.  

The most outstanding aspect of the entire experience was the coaching. We all felt so privileged to have coaches of such a high calibre; they provided targeted coaching and always with a smile and enthusiasm.  Each of us made a jump to another level of skiing.  

All of the Masters want to return and if you are a Master and haven’t already, add the Livigno Camp to your bucket list!