Piper competing at two World Championships in 2012
When Carsen Campbell’s parents pulled him out of ice hockey at age 12 because it was too dangerous, they gave him a rifle instead. He already was involved with cross-country skiing and the previous year had started piping lessons at the College of Piping in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, under the guidance of James Beaumont and Matthew McClain.
Fast-forward five years and Campbell is one of the world’s top biathlon competitors and a piper with the College’s Grade 3 band – and is heading to Kontiolahti, Finland, for the Biathlon Masters International Championships in March as part of Canada’s national team and then in August to Glasgow for the World’s with his band.
As a biathlon athlete, Campbell combines cross-country skiing using shorter skate skis and shooting using a .22 calibre target rifle. The similarities between biathlon and pipe band competition are there in Campbell’s mind, since both disciplines involve supreme control of nerves and breathing in stressful competition.
Carsen Campbell, who currently receives instruction from College of Piping Musical Director James MacHattie, commits almost all of his waking hours to piping, biathlon training or school. He was too busy to respond to pipes|drums directly, so his mother helped out.
“Carsen has always been highly competitive, and very self motivated when it’s something he wants to do he goes after it full force,” said Cheryl Campbell.