Canada’s future Olympians coming to the PAC for RBC Training Ground

Each year, RBC Training Ground makes its way across Canada to find their next Olympic athletes. The program will make its only Saskatchewan stop at the Physical Activity Complex(PAC) at the University of Saskatchewan(USask) on April 27, 2024.

By Alyssa Wiebe | Kinesiology Communications

RBC Training Ground is a talent identification and athlete funding program designed to find young athletes with Olympic potential and provide them with the resources they need to achieve their podium dreams.

The program travels the country searching to uncover athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 that will fuel the Canadian Olympic pipeline and provide them with training resources.

The College of Kinesiology and USask Rec have hosted the RBC Training Ground in the past and their facilities, staff, and volunteers are a testament as to why it continues to return.

“Our students gain valuable real-world experience that they typically cannot get in a classroom, and to have the experience with this level of staff and to test and identify Canada's next Olympians in our state-of-the-art sport and recreation facilities at the Physical Activity Complex is a truly unique experience,” said Cary Primeau, Interim Director of USask Rec.

Athletes are put through a variety of testing that focuses on speed, strength, power, and endurance. USask Rec is home to the Human Performance Centre (HPC), that specializes in personal training and training high performance athletes. With the program comes state of the art and specialized equipment to ensure accuracy when testing the performance of each athlete.

"Our involvement with RBC Training Ground is the perfect opportunity for us to blend the science of the testing with the practicality of identifying athletic trends of potential future Olympians," said Jason Weber, Human Performance Centre Coordinator. "It’s a truly special day for all of us involved to mesh these two worlds and lend a hand to help discover our next home grown Olympian."

One of the key components to RBC Training Ground testing is that an athlete may be identified to compete competitively in a sport they have never explored. The National Sport Organizations (NSO’s) uses a combination of test results to identify skills that may translate to strong potential in their respective or other sport.

“Our highly skilled staff, personal trainers and student volunteers will ensure that the young athlete's experience will be one of quality and excellence,” said Primeau.

Each year, the RBC Training Ground program tests thousands of athletes who are looking to challenge their strengths and skills in hopes of competing as Canada’s next Olympian. USask can expect to see upwards of 100 athletes attend the event on April 27, in the PAC and look to match that with volunteers ranging from station set up, registration, data entry, and facility take down.

"RBC Training Ground is a great fit for the College of Kinesiology and USask Rec to lead and host. Our mission statement is that "we lead and inspire movement health and performance" and this event showcases young talent that does exactly this,” said Gray Ferguson, USask Rec Fitness Coordinator. “Our facility is the perfect place to host because we can house all testing in one space (including our triple gym and indoor track) to make easy transitions for the athletes and viewed well for all spectators to enjoy."

As the RBC Training Ground travels across the country, the top 100 athletes in testing will move on to the National Final. Once the testing and selection process is complete, up to 30 athletes per year from across Canada may receive assistance such as funding, resources, coaching and/or mentorship and support from RBC and the COF to fuel their passion and Olympic dreams.

To learn more about the RBC Training Ground program or to register, click here.