A research project is examining how gender has impacted people's experiences of biathlon and Biathlon Canada ©Getty Images

Biathlon Canada has encouraged members to take part in a project that will examine the state of gender equity within the governing body as well as the sport.

Funded by Biathlon Canada and Sport Canada, the focus of the project is an audit which will interview athletes, coaches, technical officials, decision-makers and staff about how their experiences of biathlon and Biathlon Canada have been influenced by gender.

This is in accordance with the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) drive to develop sustainability, gender equality and integrity matters in the sport.

Michele Donnelly from Brock University, who holds a PhD, is leading the study.

The IBU recently appointed four athlete ambassadors for gender equality - Americans Susan Dunklee and Kelsey Dickinson, Czech Jessica Jislová and Regina Oja of Estonia.

"Biathlon is already one of the more progressive sports for gender equality, but we still have a long way to go," Dunklee said at the time.

Myriam Bédard won three Olympic biathlon medals for Canada ©Getty Images
Myriam Bédard won three Olympic biathlon medals for Canada ©Getty Images

"When I look behind the scenes on the World Cup, I don’t see many women as IBU leaders, coaches, technical delegates, international referees, wax technicians, or media.

"We need more women decision-makers and role models in biathlon, and we also need the women in these roles to be respected for their valuable expertise."

Canada has been represented in biathlon at every Winter Olympic Games since Calgary 1988, as well as in Grenoble in 1968.

The country has only won three medals, all courtesy of Myriam Bédard.

Bédard won bronze in the women’s 15 kilometres individual at Albertville 1992 before taking home two gold medals at the Lillehammer 1994 Games.

More information on the project can be found here.