Event photos: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.326008524124093.75101.116870891704525&type=1

Valcartier, QC (March 19, 2012)
– Rain almost ruined the day but thanks to School Dollard-des-Ormeaux, the fun kept rolling indoors as 60 girls and 15 ambassadors and coaches danced and laughed their way through a fun-filled day on March 16, 2012.

The afternoon activity featured a fun team-building activity followed by the Fast and Female trademark zumba warm-up dance led by biathlon coach Lise Le Guellec. The girls then took part in as a series of biathlon specifics stations including rifle safety, shooting station and a fitness circuit. The day concluded with a hip hop routine and autograph signing.

The inspirational presentation was led by National Development Team athletes Yolaine Oddou and Claude Godbout who enthusiastically shared their first experiences trying biathlon all the way to now as they compete on the international scene and hope to qualify for the 2014 Olympics.

Oddou shared what might be one important thing a girl can learn about sports – leaving that competitive ‘take no prisoners’ attitude on the trails.

“There’s no doubt that the girls I race with are my best friends,” said Oddou who was still fresh from competing in her first ever World Championships in Germany. “But when we’re racing, I wouldn’t let them go ahead of me just out of courtesy! What’s fun is that were able to give each other hugs and support each other once we cross the finish line and the race is over.”

Oddou also explained to the girls the bonus benefits of being an elite athlete for a living saying: “We’re so lucky! We get to see countries where most people don’t go to, get to do what we are passionate about every day, and get to make tremendous friends along the way.”

This was the second time a Fast and Female event was held in conjunction with Biathlon Nationals after last year’s in Charlo, New Brunswick. Having 60 girls plus 15 ambassadors including four from the U.S. also means it’s the largest and broadest North American biathlon event in the history of Fast and Female.

Throughout the day, the girls enjoyed firsthand mentoring from other ambassadors including Rose-Marie Côté, BethAnn Chamberlain (USA), Katrina Howe (USA), Melissa Manning, Karen Messenger, Hillary Saucy (USA), Melanie Schultz, Marie-Pier Parent, Audrey Vaillancourt and coaches Lise Le Guellec and Gail Niinimaa.

Rosanna Crawford, double gold medalist at these 2012 Canadian Championships and sister of Fast and Female founder Chandra Crawford, was also in attendance to inspire the participants.

Fast and Female Executive Director Marie-Hélène Thibeault contributed the success of this event to the people of the Valcartier region and of the biathlon community.

“Approximately sixty percent of the girls who attended had never tried biathlon before the event,” explained Thibeault. “One girl even said that the activity had enticed her into trying it.”

She believes events such as this are important for growing the future of biathlon and ensuring that future generations of female athletes thrive in the sport.

“We know we’ve done our job when girls leave with smiles on their faces, a renewed sense of self confidence and a desire to grow their participation in sport,” concluded Thibeault.

Fast and Female would like to thank local sponsors for supporting this event including Biathlon Canada, GLOBO Shoes, the Biathlon National Championships, the Courcelette Biathlon Club, and the Dollard-des-Ormeaux school. Fast and Female’s North-American sponsors – including Best Buy, Buff Multifunctional Headwear, Lululemon Athletica, Clarins, Cold-FX, LUNA Bars, Champion System and LIT Glitter – are also provided key resources to make this event possible.

Fast and Female is a not-for-profit society started in 2005 by Chandra Crawford – 2006 Olympic gold medalist in cross-country skiing. The organization’s mission is to support, motivate, inspire, and empower girls to stick to sports and the healthy lifestyle. Fast and Female fulfills its mission of “Empowerment Through Sport” by hosting fun-filled, non-competitive initiatives all across North-America aimed at exposing young female athletes to inspiring female Olympians and elite level athletes. The young girls who attend Fast and Female events today will lead it in the future, may it be as athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, and community leaders. For more information about Fast and Female, visit /.

Linnaea Kershaw
Communications Manager
Fast and Female
Email: info@fastandfemale.com