Pokljuka takes shape

during IBU Biathlon World Championships 2021 Pokljuka, on February 21, 2021 in Rudno Polje, Pokljuka, Slovenia. Photo by Matic Klansek Velej / Sportida

Pokljuka, the venue for the fourth BMW IBU Biathlon World Cup in 2022/23, is taking shape as the final look of the 2022/23 season will take place between 4 and 8 January. Work on the venue is nearing completion, as the organisers are intensively carrying out the final touches on the course and setting up the necessary infrastructure for the successful staging of the top-level races.

At the last press conference before the official start, the Organising Committee reviewed the current situation and were pleased to confirm that everything is in place for the arrival of the world’s best biathletes.

The Rudno polje has been covered in winter blankets for some time now and the competition courses are taking their final shape.

“The snow will be shovelled all over the tracks in the next few days and everything will be ready by the beginning of the last week of the month. The weather will not have a decisive influence and will not worsen the conditions. The workers will make sure that everything will be as it should be,” said Jelko Kacin, President of the Pokljuka Organising Committee.

At the same time, a number of works are being carried out to set up the necessary support facilities for the competing teams and visitors. “All the containers are here, there is really a lot going on. It might be a day behind the original plan, but everything is under control,” added Kacin, who also praised the dedication of the volunteer workers who are working hard in the final days of 2022: “There are more than 400 volunteers.It’s the 30th anniversary of the first World Cup race in Pokljuka, so we are especially motivated and committed to get it right.”

Pokljuka welcomes the best competitors


The competitors and support staff will arrive in Pokljuka on 2 January 2023 and will be able to do their first training sessions the day after, the President of the OO said about the official arrival: “The numbers are not yet final, but at the moment there are 135 registered competitors and 306 people in the support teams, which is a big number. But the deadline for registration is 26.12. so we are counting on someone else to register.”

Fans feel at home in Pokljuka

In addition to the competition part, Pokljuka will also cater for the loyal fans, who will be treated to an exciting official programme starting on 5 January 2023. “On Thursday, we will be holding a preparatory event with the Triglav insurance company Triglav Kids, where we will welcome around 3,000 children. The whole biathlon event will be held in the spirit of sustainability and the music programme will also be fitting, with the BQL band performing,” said Secretary General Tim Farčnik by way of introduction.


In addition to the biathlon trials at the highest level, there will be something for every fan, adds Farčnik: “Then on Friday and Saturday, the entertainment programme will follow the local folk-music rhythms, with the Veseli Begunjčani performing on stage in the fans’ tent. Then on Sunday, there will be the classic family Pokljuka, with the Čuki band and free train transfers from all over Slovenia to the station in Lesce, from where there will be organised bus services.”


It will not only be interesting and attractive in the heart of nature, but also lower down, as it will be very colourful in Bled, where the Winter Fairy Tale will take place until 8 January, and I believe that it will be very well received by all visitors to Pokljuka,” added the Secretary General, who is confident that fans will once again come out in force.

Easier access to Pokljuka with organised bus services

The Biathlon Centre in Pokljuka is located in the protected area of the Triglav National Park, the Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve and the Natura 2000 area, which places a strong emphasis on sustainability. In order to relieve the number of transport vehicles that would add to the environmental burden on such an important competition week, the organiser has decided to change the traffic regime. “This is an atypical date for Pokljuka, we had to make adjustments, so we are finishing with the major set-ups tomorrow to ensure that the Christmas and New Year holiday in the area runs smoothly for all visitors.”


“On 2 January, the recreation areas will be closed to visitors, as the road from the turn-off from the Sports Hotel to Rudni Polje will be closed to visitors, with the only exception being accredited vehicles,” Tim Farčnik pointed out the first major change in the traffic regime.


“On 5 January, when the competition officially starts, we will extend this closure and move it to the Mrzli studenec turn-off, where there will be organised parking for all visitors on the road to Gorjuše, from where organised bus services will run to the venue.”


The organisers also advise all visitors to still choose Bled as their starting point to Pokljuka: “Bus services will also be organised from Bled, where they will be available for all day visitors. The shuttle service will be organised from the car park at Infrastructure. For those staying in Bled, the starting point will be the car park at the Sports Hall. Shuttle services from Bohinj will also be organised.”


“We are relieving this area of the Ore Fields of the number of vehicles we were used to before the pandemic, and are thus operating in a more sustainable, logistical and visitor-friendly way,” added Farčnik.

Sustainability first and foremost

“Make it last” is the central slogan of the biathlon races in Pokljuka and encouraging younger generations to preserve the fragile environment is the main goal.


Tjaša Kolenc Filipčič, Director of Marketing at Triglav Insurance, highlighted the Children of Triglav campaign, which aims to bring nature and top sport closer to the youngest: “This is the ninth time we have organised the Children of Triglav project in Pokljuka and on 5 January we will be giving the opportunity to 2,500 children from 54 primary schools, 27 of which are Eco-Schools, to watch the biathlon race.”


“There is a special focus on sustainability, the children have prepared fan banners on this theme, we will choose the most original ones, and we will also choose the best fan dance. The children have come up with a theme on climate change, so we want to promote awareness of sustainability among the new generation.”


“We have been joining the Children of Triglav campaign since 2013 and with this year’s races in Pokljuka, we will have given almost 20 thousand children from all over Slovenia the opportunity to be in the company of the best biathletes,” concluded Tjaša Kolenc Filipčič.