The funding means sport in Nova Scotia will be more inclusive, more competitive and more successful. It will also allow more of our athletes and coaches to stay and train in Nova Scotia, and in the end, give back to their own communities.

Jamie Ferguson, CEO
Sport Nova Scotia

Kelsie Maclean

Good sportsmanship is alive and well in Marion Bridge

Kelsie Maclean was wielding a rifle at the tender age of 13. But she wasn’t out running the streets or causing mischief. Instead, she had skis on her feet and the rifle on her back.
“I joined the Marion Bridge sea cadets and one of the programs offered was biathlon. I tried out for the team, made it and I have been skiing and shooting ever since,” she explains.
Maclean’s passion for the sport was originally fueled by the strong friendships it created.
“The teammates that have had a great effect on my biathlon performance are Maria Neidzelski and Brianna MacDonald. They were the first people to encourage and help me get into the biathlon program,” she says.
Both Neidzelski and MacDonald were on the core team for cadets and they urged Maclean to join the team.
“They were always training with me and were very positive in my abilities,” says Maclean. “When I first started they would say ‘Come on you can do it…keep up the pace.’ Their encouragement helped me so much.”
Maclean eventually made the core team and since then she has even passed her friends a few times during races.
“Both are still good friends and their belief in me has been part of the reason I have done so well in the last few years,” says Maclean.
It’s been over a year since Maclean and her friends traveled to the junior Canadians biathlon championships in Val Cartier, Quebec, but the young athlete remembers the competition well.
“I was two years younger than everyone one else competing and making the team was a huge accomplishment for me,” Maclean explains. “I was so happy to be there, it was unbelievable. In one race I came in last place and the next race I came in second last, but it didn’t matter I skied and shot my best. I had the time of my life at that race.”
Since returning empty-handed from the Quebec competition, Maclean has been busy. She has since won several gold medals, been asked to compete on the Biathlon Nova Scotia team and is also on the development squad for the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
Despite her recent successes, Maclean remains humble.
She attests that “Winning isn’t everything,” and believes that “having fun, making great memories and forming friendships that last forever is equally important.”
Her determination and optimistic spirit has allowed Maclean to achieve great success, even when certain factors were against her. Biathlon is a sport that requires very specific equipment, and this equipment is often very expensive. In biathlon, an ill-fitting boot or an improperly sized ski can be the difference between winning the gold or placing dead last.
Maclean and her family couldn’t afford to buy her new equipment, so instead the four-time champ was playing with borrowed goods.
“All of my equipment was cadet issued,” she explains. “I was very glad to have it but having my own would have just been so much better. I had to get used to different equipment all the time and that can be hard, especially before a race.”
With funding from the Support4Sport funding program Maclean was finally able to buy her own equipment.
“My ski boots will be broke in by me and my new skis are perfect for me,” She gushes. “My race suit actually fits me perfect and I love it. I can keep it forever instead of returning it at the end of the season.”
Maclean is confident that having her own equipment will make her a stronger competitor, both mentally and physically.
“The funding I received from Support4Sport has been a great help. I have bought a race suit that I will use for team Nova Scotia and also if I make it to the Canada Winter Games,” said Maclean. “My new equipment is suited for me and I can use it whenever I want to and that will make a difference when racing.”
Maclean now possesses the key elements for success. Before receiving her sport funding she was already passionate, hardworking and had a winning attitude. Now that she has the right equipment, the sky’s the limit.


Marion Bridge, NS
45° 59' 6.9288" N, 60° 12' 47.9448" W


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