For eight years RBC Training Ground has been travelling Canada in search of aspiring Olympian and national team members between the ages of 14 and 25. The program offers funding for aspiring athletes to achieve their Olympic goals and pairs them with national sporting organizations.
“It’s kind of just about spotting athletes, selecting the ones with the different physical capabilities,” says event volunteer and facilitator Kieran Phillips.
“[It’s] kind of selecting people with a lot of potential and kind of just giving opportunities to people who don’t really get those maybe not in school or whatever team.”
Participants are put through their paces with a variety of athletic challenges designed to test all areas of fitness.
“There’s strength which is based off of a mid-thigh pull, speed, which is a sprint and endurance which is a beep test,” says Phillips.
“Those are the main ones as well as anthropometrics, which is height, weight and arm span.”
“You don’t really get to do this sort of testing all the time because you need the space to do it and I just thought it was really cool how they’re doing this for us,” says event participant Travis Cowan.
One former program graduate is national women’s rugby sevens standout Krissy Scurfield, who mainly played hockey before trying out.
“After I did it I kind of got contacted by Rugby Canada and they kind of wanted me to pursue it more, so then I did and it kind of led me to the path where I am now,” says Scurfield.
The top 100 athletes from around the country will be invited to compete in the Training Ground National Finals later this year.