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The Sport Information Resource Centre

In 2023, the program welcomes four new sport partners and expands its reach to Indigenous communitiies

TORONTO, January 10, 2022 — Luge Canada will work with RBC Training Ground to support its nationwide search for the next generation of Olympic athletic talent.

“It is our goal to quickly increase our pool of athletes by identifying Canadians who have demonstrated athletic ability in other sports in an effort to adapt their high-performance foundation to the development of a successful career in the sport of luge,” said Sam Edney, high-performance manager, Luge Canada. “We look forward to continuing our work with RBC Training Ground to directly identify athletes who pose the athletic attributes we are looking for that typically excel in the sport of luge.”

RBC Training Ground is an athletic talent identification program dedicated to finding and funding Canada’s future Olympians. Thirteen athletes who were discovered and funded through RBC Training Ground have competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, bringing home a collective seven medals. Among them are program alumni Jerome Blake (Silver Medallist in Athletics – Relay 4x100m), Kelsey Mitchell (Gold Medallist in Track Cycling – Women’s Sprint) and Marion Thénault (Bronze Medallist in Freestyle Skiing – Mixed Team Aerials), the latter two of whom did not have experience in their Olympic sport before attending an RBC Training Ground event. RBC Training Ground was developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation, with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network.

”RBC Training Ground has proven to be a valuable incubator for Team Canada,” said Eric Myles, Chief Sport Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “Alongside our sport partners, we are so proud to be part of this incredible program. It’s important that more athletes from Indigenous communities get the opportunity to compete on the national and international stage, and we’re looking forward to watching this next generation of athletes pursue their Olympic dreams.”

At each qualifying event this year, participants will perform speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of National Sport Organizations (NSO) partners. New NSO partners Boxing Canada, Climbing Escalade Canada, Triathlon Canada and Wrestling Canada Lutte join current partners like Cycling Canada, Rowing Canada and Luge Canada to discover athletes for their national teams. Following the National Final later this year where 100 hopefuls will compete, the top 30 athletes will be selected as RBC Future Olympians to receive funding, mentorship, and other resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.

In addition to the 17 free qualifying events for athletes aged 14-25 across the country, RBC Training Ground is hosting custom testing events for North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) provincial delegations, including Alberta and Saskatchewan, as they prepare for NAIG 2023.

“We recognize that Indigenous athletes in Canada experience barriers to participating in sport. We hope that by bringing RBC Training Ground to regional NAIG events, we’re making it easier for Indigenous athletes to chase their Olympic dreams,” said Shannon Cole, Vice President, Brand Marketing, RBC. “We truly believe in the power of sport to unite and inspire our communities, and we look forward to working with new sport partners and communities to continue to develop the next generation of Team Canada.”

Since its inception in 2016, RBC Training Ground has tested 12,000 athletes across Canada, with more than 1,600 athletes being identified by National Sport Organizations as having Olympic potential – many in a sport they had never considered. The list of National Sport Organization program partners in 2023 is available here. Registration and the most up-to-date event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca.