RBC Training Ground launches new season as Team Canada prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Team Canada athletes take a long road before we see them marching proudly in an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. For many of them, that moment has been years, if not decades in the making.

So while all eyes may naturally focus on those athletes, the process of identifying, training, and supporting the athletes that will follow in their footsteps is critically important.

READ: RBC Training Ground: Finding Canada’s next generation of Olympians 

In support of that process, RBC Training Ground has announced its return for a ninth year. The national program identifies and supports young Canadian Olympic hopefuls. The program has shown great success thus far–Team Canada at Tokyo 2020 included eight RBC Training Ground athletes, while five more athletes identified through the program competed at Beijing 2022. In the years since its launch, RBC Training Ground alumni have gone on to win Olympic gold medals and world championship titles and, in turn, returned in mentorship roles for the next wave of future Olympians.

Avalon Wasteneys participated in the 2017 edition of RBC Training Ground. She went on to win a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as part of the women’s eight rowing crew.

“RBC Training Ground acted as a huge catalyst for my career in sport,” Wasteneys said. “It gave me the confidence I needed as well as the funding and support from a community of people that were really cheering me on.”

Similarly, Sarah Orban was a soccer player and track and field athlete at the University of Lethbridge when she attended the 2017 edition of RBC Training Ground. She was identified as having high potential in a sport she’d never done before–track cycling.

“RBC Training Ground helped me discover a completely new sport that I’d never tried before and created a new pathway for me in sport,” Orban said. The 28-year-old now has Pan American and Commonwealth Games medals to her name in her new sport.

For the 2024 edition of the program, RBC Training Ground is welcoming to its roster of partners the National Sport Organizations (NSO) for two new Olympic sports–flag football and squash–that will make their Olympic debut at the LA 2028 Games. Returning NSO partners include:

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

RBC Training Ground will host 19 qualifying events across the nation from February through May. Registration is free and anyone between the ages of 14-25 can sign up. For those unable to attend an in-person event, virtual qualifying is open until May 15, 2024. Check out the full schedule.

At these qualifying events, athletes undergo speed, endurance, strength, and power testing under the watchful eye of NSO partners who are looking for their next generation of Olympians. The top athletes from the qualifiers are invited to compete at the National Final in the hopes of snagging one of the 30 RBC “Future Olympian” spots. RBC Future Olympians receive funding support and further mentorship to support their Olympic dreams.

Could you be a future member of Team Canada? Registration and the most up-to-date event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca.