A sea of blue and purple may not be what comes to mind when you think of what makes the Canmore Nordic Centre world class. Humble beneath the alpine backdrop, the blue jacket and purple toque clad volunteers are the puppeteers behind snowy events in Canmore.

International Volunteer Day, which recognizes the invaluable role that volunteers play in building resilient communities, lands on December 5th; fitting for the volunteer biathlon community as it is also the opening week of the 2018/19 World Cup Biathlon season.

Every year Canmore biathlon volunteers dedicate long, cold hours to make sure athletes competing in the Bow Valley have the best chance for success. This year, however, requires an even larger and more committed fleet in order to host the Biathlon World in February. Ken Davies, Chair of the Organizing Committee says “As an event host, our volunteer base in Canmore is our greatest asset. Events would simply fall flat without the committed folks who give their time. They are truly what make our town and our events world class.”

By the numbers, so far there are over 250 volunteers dedicated to running a fantastic Biathlon World Cup. They are comprised of 64% female, mostly between the age of 45-60, and the majority have some experience with biathlon, either through involved family or friends. However, it’s always great to see there are growing numbers of young volunteers, who will no doubt be shown what the blue jacket and purple toques truly mean, and continue the important legacy of volunteerism in Canmore.