An athlete rides a stationary bike

RBC Training Ground: The search for future Team Canada athletes goes virtual

Not even a pandemic can stop the search for future Team Canada Olympians.

RBC Training Ground is back once again for its sixth year, this time in a virtual setting.

RBC Training Ground has tested more than 8500 athletes for their speed, power, strength and endurance since it was launched in 2016. RBC Training Ground participants deemed to have high-performance potential are invited to complete sport-specific testing with National Sport Organization (NSO) partners. So far, 1000 athletes have gone through that additional testing.

Several athletes who were discovered at RBC Training Ground events are now emerging as Tokyo 2020 medal hopefuls. This includes world record-setting track cyclist Kelsey Mitchell, who was a university soccer player when she was identified via RBC Training Ground in 2017. She was named to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycling team along with another alumnus of the program, Lauriane Genest. Other athletes with a chance to compete at Tokyo 2020 are rowers Avalon Wasteneys, and Gabrielle Smith, as well as decathlete Pierce LePage.

What is RBC Training Ground?

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?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of the participants are paramount, therefore RBC Training Ground will have a virtual qualifying format in which athletes will film themselves doing the tests in a location of their choosing. The deadline for submissions is March 5, 2021. For more information on how to submit videos, visit the RBC Training Ground website. From those submissions, 100 athletes will be invited to the RBC Training Ground National Final. The National Final will take place at a time and in a format that places the utmost priority on health and safety of participants.

What kind of assessments will there be?

Athletes 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 Leger-Boucher)

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

What equipment do I need for the virtual qualifying format?

  • A metric tape measure at least 5m long
  • A camera that can record in 240fps slow motion (can be a phone)
  • A friend to help film
  • A level surface over 50m long (if you have access to a track then perfect, if not any hard surface will do)
  • 3 cones or markers to show the beginning and end of a 20m section
  • Masking or painters’ tape
  • 3m x 3m floor space
  • Speaker or Bluetooth headphones to connect to your playback device
  • The Leger-Boucher audio file (downloaded from here)
  • Shuttle score card (downloaded from here)

RBC Training ground athlete participates in sprint test

What National Sports Organizations are recruiting at the 2021 RBC Training Ground?

Current NSO partners of the RBC Training Ground program include:

  • Boxing Canada
  • Canoe Kayak Canada
  • Cycling Canada
  • Freestyle Canada
  • Nordic Combined Ski Canada
  • Rowing Canada
  • Rugby Canada
  • Ski Jumping Canada
  • Speed Skating

How can I register for RBC Training Ground?

To be a part of the 2021 RBC Training Ground program, please register on the RBC Training Ground website for free.

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

Since 1947, RBC has been a champion in supporting Team Canada the last 37 Olympic Games. RBC and Team Canada share values of excellence, teamwork, diversity and commitment. In the past five years, RBC Training Ground has provided more than $1.7M to 117 RBC Future Olympians to help support their Olympic dreams. In addition, RBC also helps to prepare current and newly retired Olympians for life after sport through the RBC Olympians program.