TORONTO (January 14, 2020) — While Canadian Olympians prepare to take the world’s biggest sporting stage at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, RBC Training Ground will once again be searching the country for the next generation of Olympic talent.
Entering its fifth year, RBC Training Ground is a nation-wide talent identification and athlete-funding program dedicated to finding and supporting the next generation of Canadian Olympians. Since its inception in 2016, the program has tested 8,000 athletes at more than 100 free local events across Canada. At each event participants perform speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of National Sport Organizations.
In 2020, RBC Training Ground will hold events on centrally located university campuses in eight provinces, culminating with a national final to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba and timed with the province’s 150th anniversary. The second-ever national final will bring together the top 100 high-potential athletes from across the country to compete for funding and a spot on one of nine partner sport organizations’ teams. Up to 30 high-performing athletes will be selected as RBC Future Olympians to receive funding, mentorship, and other resources as they pursue their Olympic Games dreams.
Joining the program for the first time ever in 2020 are Ski Jumping Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada and Boxing Canada. These sport organizations join long-time program partners Freestyle Canada, Speed Skating Canada, Cycling Canada Cyclisme, Rowing Canada Aviron, Rugby Canada, and Canoe Kayak Canada – all looking to identify new talent for development.
Several athletes who were discovered at previous RBC Training Ground events and supported as RBC Future Olympians are now emerging as Tokyo 2020 medal hopefuls. World record-setting track cyclist and Tokyo 2020 medal hopeful Kelsey Mitchell was a university soccer player when she was discovered at an RBC Training Ground event in 2017.
RBC Training Ground was developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Foundation and CBC Sports, with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network. As the longest standing corporate partner of Team Canada, RBC has proudly championed the growth of the Olympic Movement since 1947.
- RBC Training Ground is free to attend and open to Canadian athletes between the ages of 14–25;
- In 2020, RBC Training Ground will hold events in eight provinces, culminating with a national final in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 30, 2020;
- Since 2016, RBC Training Ground has tested 8,000 young elite athletes at more than 100 free local events across the country, identifying 800 high-potential athletes. More than $1.7M in funding has been provided to 117 RBC Future Olympians to help support their Olympic dreams;
- Participating 2020 National Sport Organizations include: Ski Jumping Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada, Boxing Canada, Freestyle Canada, Speed Skating Canada, Cycling Canada Cyclisme, Rowing Canada Aviron, Rugby Canada, and Canoe Kayak Canada;
- Tokyo 2020 hopefuls who have participated in the RBC Training Ground talent search and received RBC Future Olympian funding include Kelsey Mitchell (Cycling), Pierce Lepage (Athletics), Avalon Wasteneys (Rowing) and Alanna Bray-Lougheed (Canoe Kayak).
Registration and event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca.