British Biathlon is delighted to announce a collaboration with Minerva’s Virtual Academy, an award-winning online school for athletes aged 12-18

British Biathlon has recently embarked on a wide-ranging fundraising and awareness campaign to help more British Biathletes reach the Olympics. Like many endurance sports, Biathlon requires frequent overseas travel and a high amount of training hours every week, meaning the need for flexibility around education is key. /

Minerva’s Virtual Academy is the first ever TASS-accredited (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) online school and educates its pupils using a research-backed teaching methodology called ‘flipped learning’. Minerva’s students spend less time in the classroom and have much more control over their daily timetable. The school has an 80% pass rate with over 34% achieving grades 7,8 or 9, over 8% higher than the U.K. national average. With dedicated evening classes and an already thriving community of young athletes from 10 different sports, the school offers a balanced and practical way for those who are pursuing Biathlon training and competitions to continue their education.

Students learn the British Curriculum at GCSE and A Level from a faculty of top teaching staff. Young athletes in particular are assisted by a unique mentoring programme, featuring the school’s fortnightly High-Performance Club, which is run by two former professional athletes and focuses on athlete performance, identity, and wellbeing.

Elizabeth Winfield said – ‘Over the past 18 months British Biathlon Union (BBU) has implemented a new strategy to broaden its Athlete development pathways, including providing much younger, talented Athletes the opportunity to transition into the highly demanding sport of Biathlon. For the first time the BBU has young Athletes training extremely hard, whilst still in education. With no snow in the UK, much of the training and all of the competitions are overseas. These Events include; the International Biathlon Junior Cup, the Youth and Junior World Championships, the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival and next year the Youth Olympic Games. With so much potential in these Athletes we want to find a way to balance their education and training and Minerva can provide a great solution’.

Mr Lawrence Tubb, formerly Wycombe Abbey and now headmaster at Minerva’s Virtual Academy said, ‘In our fast-changing world, the merits of high-quality online education are becoming clearer and clearer by the day. Young performers and athletes who previously had to miss lessons at traditional schools in order to pursue their sports no longer have to do so. We’re delighted to be collaborating with British Biathlon to offer flexible GCSEs and A Levels to anyone participating in this exciting and highly-impressive sport.’

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