Photo Courtesy of Carla Victor Photography and the Town of Olds

Ag. Management Student Brings Experience to Biathlon at Canada Games

Photo Courtesy of Carla Victor Photography and the Town of Olds Ag. Management student Jill O’Neill has an interesting role at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. While many staff members and students are involved as volunteers, Jill is one of the few with the expertise and experience to be a key part of organizing an entire event.  Jill’s background in biathlon has given her this knowledge.

“I have extensive experience in biathlon,” she explains. “My son and daughter competed on a provincial biathlon team in B.C., and I became involved with our local club, to support my children, and it took off from there.”

As is often the case with supporting youth sports, once she was in, she was hooked. She volunteered in a variety of capacities, eventually becoming head coach for their biathlon club, and serving as a board member for Biathlon B.C. She also had the opportunity to be the B.C. team’s assistant coach at the national championships in Quebec.

“Biathlon is a great sport that demands a lot from athletes. I haven’t been involved since we moved to Alberta in 2015, but was eager to jump on board for the Games, and was excited to see the new facilities they have built in Red Deer.”

Jill has also gotten her husband, Mike, a Farrier Science instructor at the college, involved at the games. Mike has also been an avid biathlon supporter, helping athletes at the club level, and even competing in the master’s division of biathlon. Jill and Mike are another example of someone dedicated to supporting young athletes and helping them to be the best they can be.