RBC Training Ground continues the search for Canadian Olympic hopefuls in 2022

Team Canada at Tokyo 2020 included eight alumni of the RBC Training Ground program.

Now, the search for more future Olympic athletes starts again as RBC Training Ground kicks off its seventh year.

Since its inception in 2016, the program has tested 10,000 athletes across Canada, with more than 1300 athletes being identified by various National Sport Organizations (NSOs) as having Olympic potential.

The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes, and it became evident at Tokyo 2020 that RBC Training Ground and its subsequent financial support can provide athletes a push towards the Olympic podium.

  • Kelsey Mitchell waves the Canadian flag while doing a victory lap at the velodrome

One of the most memorable moments for Team Canada came on the final day of the Games, when Kelsey Mitchell won gold in track cycling’s sprint event just a few years after she wowed Cycling Canada scouts at RBC Training Ground. Her teammate and fellow alumni, Lauriane Genest, came home with her own bronze from the velodrome in the keirin.

Avalon Wasteneys was in the stroke seat of the eight that won Canada’s first Olympic gold in a women’s rowing event in 25 years, after having had her talent identified at RBC Training Ground in 2017. Jerome Blake was the Olympic rookie on Canada’s 4x100m relay team but ran a stellar second leg to help the quartet claim the bronze medal.  

Who will be identified next? Here’s everything young athletes need to know about participating in RBC Training Ground in 2022.

What is RBC Training Ground?

Ian Holmquist rides a stationary bike with two onlookers on the left.
Ian Holmquist tests out his endurance on the bike at the Endurance station at the RBC Training Ground National Final. (Credit: Kevin Light)

RBC Training Ground is a program that seeks out young Canadian amateur athletes. The program evaluates these participants through high-performance training tests. Athletes identified as having high potential receive funding and other forms of support they need to one day reach an Olympic podium.

Who can participate in RBC Training Ground?

Canadians aged 14 to 25 years old from all sports backgrounds are eligible to participate in RBC Training Ground. This age bracket helps participating NSOs identify athletes who can develop into Olympic hopefuls based on long-term athlete development and the Canadian Sport for Life program.

When and where will RBC Training Ground be held?

Year seven of RBC Training Ground will return to this spring with plans for free in-person qualifying events across the country, guided by local health and safety protocols in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, there will still be a virtual testing format (as there was in year six) for athletes who are unable to attend an in-person combine.

You can find more information, including how to register and the dates and locations of all local RBC Training Ground events, at RBCTrainingGround.ca.

What kind of assessments will there be?

  • Marion Marion Thénault at RBC Training Ground testing
  • Marion Thenault smiles after winning gold

At each RBC Training Ground qualifying event, participants will participate in speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of representatives from various NSOs.

Among the tests are:

  • 40-metre sprint (speed)
  • Isometric mid-thigh pull (strength)
  • Vertical jump (power)
  • 20-metre multi-stage shuttle run, AKA the beep test (endurance) 

Athletes participating via the virtual testing format are assessed using tests that require strength, speed and power. The evaluation consists of three tests:

  • Running sprint (20m)
  • Vertical jump
  • Multi-stage fitness (AKA beep test, shuttle run, or Léger-Boucher)

Other tests may be added as needed by the NSOs. For more details on the tests, click here.

What National Sports Organizations are recruiting at the 2022 RBC Training Ground?

Current NSO partners of the RBC Training Ground program include:

  • Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada
  • Canoe Kayak Canada
  • Cycling Canada
  • Freestyle Canada
  • Luge Canada
  • Rowing Canada
  • Rugby Canada
  • Speed Skating Canada
  • Volleyball Canada

How can I register for RBC Training Ground?

Registration and the most up-to-date event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca. We continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, consulting with health authorities. The health and wellness of everyone involved in RBC Training Ground, and of our communities as a whole, remains our top priority.

Approximately 100 RBC Training Ground National Final athletes pose for a photo with RBC Olympians and RBC Training Ground 'Future Olympians'.
RBC Training Ground National Final with RBC Olympians and ‘Future Olympians’ . (Dave Holland/COC).

What is the partnership between RBC and the Canadian Olympic Committee?

Since 1947, RBC has been a champion in supporting Team Canada. RBC and Team Canada share values of excellence, teamwork, diversity, and commitment. RBC has committed more than $13 million to support Next Gen athletes through RBC Training Ground and the Canadian Olympic Foundation. In addition, RBC also helps to prepare current and newly retired Olympians for life after sport through the RBC Olympians program.