Transitioning from Team P.E.I. biathlete to coach is never an easy thing to do, but the transition has been very smooth for Caitlin Campbell.
The Bedeque native knew in 2017 it was time to step away from competitive racing to focus on her education. Then in 2018 her heart turned towards coaching the sport she loved so much.
Campbell was selected for the Women in Coaching Canada Games Apprenticeship Program, which has been an excellent experience for her as the Games are set to begin Friday in Red Deer, Alta. When asked what was one of the best parts of the program, she alluded to meeting so many different female coaches from different sport backgrounds across Canada.
As for Campbell’s time at the 2015 Canada Games in Prince George, B.C., she had an awesome experience. It was also a huge motivator for her for the next few seasons, as she was disappointed in her performance at the Games, although she posted a top-10 finish, which is a record for P.E.I. female biathletes.
The experience at the Games provided the drive she needed to crack the Canadian junior team, which competed at the world championships in Romania in 2016. At the Games itself, she made some great friends from all across Canada and still keeps in touch with them.
Going into the Games, this time as a coach, Campbell is excited to experience the Games in a new way, seeing some strong competition and supporting the athletes that have been training hard to prepare for the Games. One of those athletes is her sister Callie Campbell.
Caitlin also plans to take in some other sports and cheer on other Team P.E.I. athletes.
For the athletes to have a coach that is fresh out of competing, and has the best female finish for Team P.E.I., is a great thing. They will be able to learn from her experience and preparations for the Games. Alberton native Sami Sentner is also an apprentice coach in women’s hockey.
Campbell is very passionate about keeping girls involved in sports and it was part of the reason she got into coaching. She has really enjoyed the experience so far and plans to continue.
The biathlon team has been very busy in its preparation for the Games. They travelled to Quebec in November to find some early snow, then some of the athletes travelled to Canmore, Alta., for a race. More stops along the way included Chalo, N.B., to compete against biathletes from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and there were competitions in Quebec, Charlo and Fort Kent, Me., in January.
Jordan Ellis is an account manager with MBS Radio and communications for Team P.E.I. at the 2019 Canada Games.