Olympic officials will be bringing the search for young athletes with raw talent to Cochrane for the first time on March 3 at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) are searching for new and undiscovered talent to add to Canada’s Olympic pool through their joint initiative the RBC Training Ground. The free event which is open to athletes ages 14 to 25, is one of 30 local combines happening across the country during 2018. Olympic bronze medal winning cyclist Kirsti Lay, who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will also be on hand in a mentoring role toward the athletes throughout the duration of the competition.
The RBC Training Ground process has athletes assessed by using field-based tests that indicate speed, strength, power and endurance capabilities. The qualifying events that will be used for testing are a 40 and 30 metre sprint to judge speed, an isometric mid-thigh pull to test strength, a vertical jump for power and a 20 metre multi-stage shuttle run for endurance.
If the participants test scores are good enough, they will be part of the 100 athletes from each region and will be invited to the final events, where the athletes will go through another round of testing at the Alberta regional final in Calgary on April 21, or will begin further testing with specific sports. The events at the regional combined include: the six-second-bike sprint, the single broad jump and the arm leg bike, among others.
In 2017, more than 300 athletes out of a total of more than 2,100 participants who attended RBC Training Ground events were invited for additional testing by a national sport governing body (including nine from an event in Lethbridge, 13 from an event in Edmonton, and 21 from an event in Okotoks). Thirty athletes were then selected to receive ongoing support funding from RBC in order to pursue their Olympic dreams.
There have been nine regional winners since the start of this event in 2016, with Calgarian Sarah Orban winning the Alberta regional in 2017. Since winning the RBC Training Ground Alberta final in May, she has undergone sport specific testing with the Canadian associations for Rugby Bobsleigh, Skeleton and Cycling After Orban graduates from the University of Lethbridge she will join the National Sport Organizations (NSO) and begin full-time training in the spring.
For more details on how to register, visit www.cbc.ca/olympics/trainingground.