An athlete (centre) rides the sprint bike at the speed station with Patrick Chan (right) cheering him on and a staff (left) keeping track of time.Dave Holland/COC
Dave Holland/COC

2020 RBC Training Ground: searching for the next Team Canada athletes

Now in its fifth year, RBC Training Ground is back to look for the next generation of Team Canada athletes.

Since 2016, the program has tested 8,000 athletes at more than 100 free local events across Canada.

Infographic about the 2020 RBC Training Ground Program

What is RBC Training Ground?

Evan Bezemer prepares to jump at the power station.

Evan Bezemer prepares to jump at the power station at RBC Training Ground Final at the Genesis Centre in Calgary, Alberta on September 14, 2019.

RBC Training Ground is an innovative, nationwide program that identifies and tests young Canadian amateur athletes through high-performance combines. Those identified as having high potential receive funding and other forms of support they need to one day reach an Olympic podium.

READCatherine Lizotte and Ian Holmquist champions of inaugural RBC Training Ground National Final

Who can participate in RBC Training Ground?

Canadian youth between 14 to 25 years old are able to participate at RBC Training Ground events. This age range helps participating National Sports Organizations (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 are the 2020 RBC Training Ground events?

There are 13 free qualifying events across Canada on the following dates:

Date Location City Province
Sunday January 12 University of Calgary Calgary Alberta
Saturday February 1 University of Ottawa Ottawa Ontario
Saturday February 8 University of Toronto Toronto Ontario
Sunday February 9 Laval University Quebec City Québec
Sunday February 23 McMaster University Hamilton Ontario
Saturday February 29 University of British Columbia Kelowna British Columbia
Sunday March 8 St. Mary’s University Halifax Nova Scotia
Saturday March 14 University of Winnipeg Winnipeg Manitoba
Sunday March 15 Vanier College Montréal Québec
Sunday March 22 University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta
Sunday March 22 University of New Brunswick Fredericton New Brunswick
Saturday March 28 University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Sunday March 29 University of British Columbia Vancouver British Columbia

The National Final will take place on May 30 at the Dakota Community Centre Fieldhouse in Winnipeg.

What kind of assessments take place during the high-performance combines?

A female athlete rides the bike at the endurance station.

Megan Andrews at the endurance station during the RBC Training Ground Final at the Genesis Centre in Calgary, Alberta on September 14, 2019. (Credit: Dave Holland / Team Canada)

Athletes are assessed using field-based tests that require speed, strength, power, and endurance abilities. 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)

Other tests may be added as needed by the NSOs. For more details and video instructions on these four tests, click here.

What National Sport Organizations are recruiting at the 2020 RBC Training Ground?

Joining the program in 2020 for the first time are:

  • Boxing Canada
  • Nordic Combined Ski Canada
  • Ski Jumping Canada

NSOs returning to the program are:

  • Canoe Kayak Canada
  • Cycling Canada
  • Freestyle Canada
  • Rowing Canada
  • Rugby Canada
  • Speed Skating Canada

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

RBC is the longest standing partner of Team Canada. Since 1947, RBC has been a champion in supporting Team Canada the last 37 Olympic Games with shared values of excellence, teamwork, diversity and commitment. Notably, RBC helped send Canadian athletes to the St. Moritz 1948 Olympic Winter Games.

In addition to finding and funding Canada’s next generation of Olympians through RBC Training Ground, RBC also helps to prepare current and newly retired Olympians for life after sport through the RBC Olympians program.

Which Team Canada athletes have participated in RBC Training Ground?

Decathlete Pierce LePage and track cyclist Kelsey Mitchell are just a few of many Team Canada athletes that have gone through the RBC Training Ground program.

LePage won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. His most recent podium finish was third at Lima 2019.

Mitchell also competed at the 2019 Pan Am Games. She won silver with her teammate in the women’s team sprint event. In the qualifying round of the women’s individual sprint, she set a Pan American Games record of 10.890s. She went on to win gold in the event.

To see the full list of athletes chosen to be RBC Future Olympians for 2019 click here.

How can I register for RBC Training Ground?

To be a part of the 2020 RBC Training Ground program, please register here for free.