In May 2019, 56 Yukon athletes participated in the RBC Training Ground to test their physical and athletic ability at the Canada Games Centre. It was the first time the program was held north of 60.
Founded in 2016, the RBC Training Ground is a series of regional combine events designed to help partnering sports uncover athletes with Olympic potential. At RBC Training Ground events, athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 are tested in speed, strength, power, and endurance by National Sport Organizations and the Canadian Olympic Paralympic Sport Institute Network.
Of the 56 Yukon athletes who participated, archer Vincent Menard was asked to go to Calgary in Sept. 2019 for the Olympic Talent Search final. In 2019, close to 2,000 athletes participated in one of 30 local combines, 100 were selected for the second round.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, RBC Training Ground decided not to hold its usual combines. Instead, like so many other organizations, they are making the program virtual.
“Adapting RBC Training Ground to include a new virtual qualifying format means it’s never been easier to take the first step towards making an Olympic dream come true – even from home,” Mary DePaoli, RBC executive vice-president and chief marketing officer said in a release.
“We’re proud that the opportunities RBC Training Ground present will now be more accessible than ever. Our goal is to open the door for any young athlete interested in pursuing Olympic sport, and then to help bridge the gap between next-generation talent and Olympic medallists.”
“We look forward to supporting RBC Training Ground in its sixth year which has had a tremendous impact on the sport system in Canada,” said David Shoemaker, CEO and Secretary General, Canadian Olympic Committee.
“The virtual qualifying format not only prioritizes the health and safety of everyone involved but is one more way for National Sport Organizations to find talent and help those athletes determine if their abilities could make them a valuable addition to Team Canada’s talent pipeline.”
It began Wednesday, young Canadian athletes (14-25) from any sports background will have access to RBC Training Ground talent scouts online – athletes are encouraged to visit RBCTrainingGround.ca for instructions.
To participate, athletes will perform simple speed, power, and endurance tests at home and submit their results online for assessment by Olympic talent scouts. Testing can be completed either indoors or outdoors, wherever adequate space permits.
The deadline for submissions is Dec. 1, 2020.
Developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Foundation and with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, RBC Training Ground is a nation-wide talent identification and athlete-funding program dedicated to finding and funding Canada’s future Olympians.
In the past five years, more than $1.7M has been provided to 117 RBC Future Olympians to help support their Olympic dreams.