TORONTO (January 16, 2018) — Today RBC, in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF), CBC Sports and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute (COPSI) Network is announcing it will be intensifying its search for young Olympic hopefuls across the country through RBC Training Ground – a series of free regional events where local athletes participate in testing combines to measure their speed, power, strength and endurance.
To officially kick-off its third year, RBC Training Ground has added Saskatchewan and Manitoba to its regional line-up, enabling even more young Canadian athletes to compete for a prime spot with a National Sport Organization (NSO). In addition, the number of NSOs participating in the program has grown to 14 partners, which means that more sports partners are using RBC Training Ground to find and identify potential future Olympians.
- RBC Training Ground is open to Canadian athletes between the ages of 14–25.
- Participants’ results will be measured against performance benchmarks set by NSOs to determine an athlete’s capacity for each individual sport.
- On January 20, 2018, Prince George, British Columbia will host the first of several free, local RBC Training Ground events.
- In 2017, over 2,100 athletes attended RBC Training Ground events. Of these, more than 300 of them were invited for additional testing by a national sport governing body.
- Thirty athletes were then selected to receive ongoing support funding from RBC in order to pursue their Olympic dreams (including travel, coaching and nutrition expenses).
- Since 2016, RBC Training Ground has tested 2,500 elite young athletes across the country, and dedicated a total of $675,000 in funding to support promising future Olympians.
- Participating NSOs include:
- Canada Snowboard, Canada Basketball, Cross Country Ski Canada, Wrestling Canada and Speed Skating Canada will join returning partners Athletics Canada, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, Canoe Kayak Canada, Cycling Canada, Rowing Canada, Rugby Canada, Freestyle Canada, Judo Canada and Water Polo Canada.
“Many young athletes dream of competing in the Olympic Games, but lack the opportunity and support they need to make these dreams a reality. That’s why we developed RBC Training Ground, a series of combines across Canada that fill the talent pipeline to make Olympic sports more accessible to athletes who have podium potential. These undiscovered athletes now have a chance to show their skills, and by holding events in even more communities across Canada, we’re making it possible for them to one day step onto the Olympic podium and represent our great nation.”
– Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC
“CBC Sports is proud to continue to support the next generation of Canadian high-performance athletes through RBC Training Ground. As Canada’s Olympic Network we showcase Canadian athletes on the national and international stage every week of the year online and through our Road To The Olympic Games TV program. This program was created to help foster the development of future Canadian Olympians and we look forward to sharing the journey of the RBC Training Ground hopefuls as part of our coverage again this year.”
– Greg Stremlaw, Executive Director, CBC Sports and General Manager, Olympics
“The impact this program is having on the sport system is amazing. In a country as large and diverse as Canada, raising awareness and filling the talent pipeline can be challenging for many Olympic sports. Speed Skating is excited to take part in this innovative program, and to help make a positive contribution to our nation’s Olympic future.”
– Susan Auch, Chief Executive Officer, Speed Skating Canada
“RBC Training Ground has created an amazing opportunity for young Canadian athletes to step in to the high performance sport spotlight. By giving our sport federations the chance to find new talent, and then providing financial support to the athletes who show the most promise, RBC is filling a gap in our high performance sport model.”
– Eric Myles, Executive Director of Sport, Canadian Olympic Committee
“Over the past two years we have tested 2,500 athletes in 30 different cities. In this time, we’ve had more than 50 athletes become a part of a number of national teams’ development programs. The strength of communication and collaboration in the COPSI Network and across the partner NSOs has been enhanced through this program, benefitting all stakeholders.”
– Kurt Innes, National Technical Lead, COPSI Network
Registration and event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca.
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About the COC
The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games. By sharing our athletes’ stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
About CBC Sports
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s Olympic Network and is committed to showcasing high-performance athletes and sports across all platforms, including Canadian athletes and their international competitors. CBC Sports prides itself on ensuring Canadians always know the athletes who represent them before they see them atop the podium.
About the COPSI Network
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI Network) provides technical expertise to support the execution of the RBC Training Ground program. Our team of sport professionals lead the delivery of the program through organization, set-up, execution and the data analysis required for Canada’s national sport organizations (NSOs) to successfully identify athletes with Olympic potential. Working with the partner NSOs, the COPSI Network also plays an advisory role in establishing testing protocols and facilitating athletes being selected for the sports that best suit their individual athletic abilities. The six participating members of the Network (Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Institut national du sport du Québec, and Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic) are key collaborators in hosting and promoting RBC Training Ground.
Story and Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee