British Biathlon Club
THE BBC STAFF TEAM
“There is no substitute for experience, nor can it be bought, nor learned on a course.”
The Club’s Training Staff are the most experienced and qualified Training Team in the UK: if you need some serious biathlon knowledge and expertise to help you, you’ve come to the right Club.
All staff appointments are handpicked for their long-term commitment, each with at least 20 years’ hard-core dedication – of racing, organising teams, creating innovative opportunities, making biathlon happen – often against the wind and tide, and coaching successful biathletes: there are no better Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (‘SQEP’) to deliver all aspects of biathlon training and participation, and we take pride in our professional competence.
The 4 principal club officers are creators of massive biathlon energy, with long portfolios of involvement in personal athletic achievement, team coaching results and biathlon projects. All are highly experienced in coaching and training, running busy biathlon ranges and training camps while ensuring maximum safety for all, and have a multitude of cross-disciplinary qualifications in performance, teamwork and leadership (such as BASI Nordic Teacher, BSSF98 Nordic Senior Coach, Personal Trainer, Mountain Bike Leader, Yacht Skipper, etc). In addition, each holds Principal Lead Project Manager for the Club’s specialities - such as range design and management, construction, project management, team training, personal training, qualification course design, peer review programme, youth outreach, etc.
Chairman and Training Officer - GORDON SEATON
With over 290 biathlon and cross-country races since 1981 - including podium places in major events, and over 100 rollerski races, Gordon’s first UK win was the 1986 30km Classical Glenisla March, and his individual peak was 90, 91 and 92 when he was 4 times GB Amateur Biathlon Champion (the sole non-National biathlete in the Top 10 at the GBR Championships 20km and 10km in Germany), twice the UK Biathlon Champion at the UKLF Championships in Clashindarroch in 90 and 91, and later in 1998 scored a record 0-0-1-0 in the 20km to come 11th at the GBR Championships in Ruhpolding – which inspired him to racing a further 10 years biathlon and 12 years cross-country!
Gordon was Manager of the GBR Junior Biathlon Team 1988-1990, a founding Board Member of the national governing body The British Biathlon Union (BBU) in 1996, and formally appointed to be the BBU’s Subject Matter Expert (SME) on safety, range conducting, coaching and training and assessing for formal biathlon qualifications. His first major task was responding for the BBU to the Army's report on the major range accident at the Les Contamines Div Meeting in 2001, and then - more importantly – organising the consequent myriad of projects to bring biathlon back from the brink. All this included designing, building and operating the first ever and only military-certificated biathlon range in the UK in 2002 (to add to his list of 5 earlier biathlon ranges, and several more since), and he then established and became Performance Director of the British Biathlon Academy 2003-2015, which produced all the athletes for the GBR Senior Squad based in Ruhpolding.
Gordon has several awards for leadership, and an International Olympic Committee Commendation. He’s also a Chartered Engineering Consultant; the Club’s principal designer and Duty Holder for all our biathlon ranges and operations in the UK and Ireland; authoriser of all Training, Competences & Qualifications (TCQ); and lead project manager for capability development, with major projects in Scotland, London, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. His favourite ‘office’ is a biathlon range – any biathlon range will do - mentoring the ‘noble art’ of biathlon. His second favourite ‘office’ is a trad music session.......any session will do.
Deputy Training Officer 1 – PAUL WHIBLEY
Paul served 24 years in the Army, and immediately he joined at age 17, he was engaged in many challenging sports. His first foray into biathlon was while serving in Germany: already a mountain biker, cross country runner and triathlete, his first event was the 1997 British Summer Biathlon Championships. The following winter, he became the Royal Engineers Novice Champion, and swiftly earned a place in his Regimental Biathlon team – no mean feat in an era when the Sappers were the backbone of GBR Biathlon and 75% of all Olympic biathletes!
After operational tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul was selected for the GBR National Development Squad at the 2005 British Biathlon Academy at RAF Kinloss and the East Grange Biathlon Centre. That winter season he was selected for BBU’s GBR Europa Cup (now the IBU Cup) Team, and promoted to Team Captain the next year: his highlights were three IBU European Championships, and the IBU World Cup in his final 2 seasons. In 2008, he won the GBR National 12.5km Mass Start: acknowledged as the toughest head-to-head race in biathlon, he scored a cool-headed 0-0-1-1 shoot to hold off the chasing pack of other elite competitors.
Paul returned to Afghanistan twice more as a high risk search team commander, before returning to Kinloss as Head Coach of the GBR and Army Biathlon Development Squad in Scotland. Now, as well as mountain biking, hill walking, nordic skiing and athletics coaching, Paul routinely coaches top flight Army biathlon teams on our Findhorn biathlon range; takes the lead in our Youth Biathlon Outreach for schools and at Huntly Nordic Centre with the laser biathlon system; and lead project manager for our Findhorn range and the Kinloss Barracks Rollerski Range programme.
Deputy Training Officer 2 – BILLY RODGERS
Billy, the biathlon warrior: Royal Marines biathlete, team coach and team captain (with 5 straight team event wins at the 2003 British Championships), Physical Training Instructor, Trauma Risk Manager, NVQ Assessor, Jungle Survival Instructor, Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach.... and all that in between numerous operational tours overseas and command as Sergeant Major.
Billy came to biathlon from an earlier career in elite fell running: 4 times Scottish Mountain running champion; 3 x ‘top 10’ finishes in the Junior World Mountain Running Championship, 3 x ‘top 20’ finishes in the Senior World Mountain Running Championships, before becoming British Nordic Champion over 10km, 15km and 30km, and outrunning Ole Einer Bjorndahlen at the World Summer Biathlon Championships!
Billy is a specialist on the wider picture of morale, culture, welfare, health, fitness, performance and lifestyle of people, groups and sports teams, having coached all spheres and phases of life: mentoring recruits to become trained Royal Marine Commandos; easing war veterans back into civilian life; organising charity events for many causes – like leading the blind and their guide dogs on the West Highland Way or to the summit of Ben Nevis; and re-invigorating the high performance RM Biathlon Team and creating a new biathlon training centre at RM Condor, Arbroath. To everyone’s delight, he was recognised with the accolade of Royal Navy Sports Organiser of the Year 2018. Alongside his duties as a staff Training Officer for the Club, Billy project manages our Condor biathlon centre and our new venture at Fort William where we hope to entice the elite mountain bikers of the world into biathlon.
Deputy Training Officer 3 – LEE JACKSON
Lee Jackson – still Great Britain’s No 1 and senior male biathlete, everybody knows ‘Jacko’: double Olympian, IBU Referee, Grade 3 RCO and Coach to the GBR and Advanced Army Biathlon Squad for several years, there is little that Jacko doesn’t know about tutoring ‘Quality of Effort’ and the ‘Pursuit of Excellence’.
Jacko arrived on the GBR scene as a junior in 1999, and was recognised swiftly as talent that needed nurturing. Always one to push ahead and take charge of his own destiny at a time of uncertainty and limited support for international athletes, Jacko moved up to Forres for 2 years at our East Grange Biathlon Centre in Kinloss 2003 and 2004 to follow his own training instincts – and went on to compete in over 200 World Cup races and 9 World Championships, and earn the sole GBR male place for the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. After all those years at the top, he took charge of the GBR and Advanced Army Biathlon Squads based in Ruhpolding and selflessly mentored the new wave to follow in his steps.
Jacko continues to race for his team - most recently winning 2 of the 3 individual titles at the 2019 British Championships. He is our lead coach and trainer for the Elite Excellence Programmes, and the first-call Senior Coach for our training held in the Greater London area.
BBC MEMBERS - 'THE BIATHLON FAMILY'
Members of the BBC are welcome from all walks of sport and interests and ALL ages.
“Living the Biathlon dream”: our ‘active shooting’ members are all primarily active biathletes, whether already in the mix in contention for the GBR national squad; curious aspiring cross-country skiers, athletes and participants from all sports and disciplines who are keen to move into skiing and shooting; or those who are already working towards their next personal biathlon goal whether Master, Junior or in between. These members must also be full members of our Approved Rifle Club (the British Biathlon Rifle Club (BBRC), as either Gold, Silver or Bronze Member.
“The Biathlon Family”: Biathlon Family is anybody who is tuned in to what we do! There is a small admin fee only to join as an ordinary (non-voting) member, which ensures you’re ‘on the list’ to know first whatever’s kicking off .... who’s doing what next ....courses coming up .......biathlon goodies available new and second hand.... and we have your details to hand which speeds up the admin if you want to come and try a short course at one of our venues in UK and Ireland. The Biathlon Family is for everyone - long-retired international biathletes or those who are simply enthusiastic and interested to keep abreast of what’s going on at the sharp end here in the UK.
HONORARY OFFICE-BEARERS AND MEMBERS
As a mark of honour and gratitude for services to biathlon, we are honoured that legendary figures in the history of British Biathlon accept our invite to add their names to ours. We thus acknowledge their dedication and long-term service, without which there would have been no biathlon in the UK of the quality that has kept us on the international stages since the first Olympic biathlon in 1960.
Honorary Vice-President Eddy Lowe BEM. Biathlete since the days of full-bore, manager of the GBR Team for 2 Olympic Games, project manager for the Glenmore Lodge Biathlon Centre, founder Board member of the BBU and Director of the BBU 1996-2016: Eddy is still a regular at the GBR Championships each year as the IBU Technical Delegate.
Honorary Vice-President Mark Goodson. Biathlete in the days of Divisional Individual Championships over 20km with an SLR, Goody has been a force for biathlon ..... forever, it seems. A founding Board Member of the BBU in 1996, and BBU Secretary-General until 2016, Goody served on numerous IBU Committees, and is still to the fore at the GBR Championships every year where his preferred front office is the eagle's nest commentary box.
Honorary Member Bob Anderson. Biathlete, Royal Signals Team Coach and GBR Junior Team Coach, Bob spent over 20 years at the coal-face of coaching biathlon, and is now an IBU Referee, range organiser at the GBR Championships, and supporter to a great many teams with his RMA Sports www.biathlonsport.com supplying just about everything a Biathlon Team could ever need.
^ The fledgling EGBC and the new GBR National Biathlon Development Squad in the early days. Every one of our Training Staff and Honorary Members were there, in the beginning, when it mattered - training, crafting, shooting, mending, rollerskiing, digging, racing, sweating, grafting, improvising, emailing late at night...... "if you want biathlon, there ain't no pixies to bring it to your door....".