If you’re an athlete looking for your big break, the RBC Training Ground program could be it.
Representatives from a dozen national sports organizations are expected to be at the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Centre in St. John’s on Sunday, Sept. 9 for the St. John’s stop on the RBC Training Ground tour.
The program is designed to help identify candidates for future Canadian Olympic teams.
St. John’s is one of 32 cities and towns across the country pegged to stage a qualifying event on the tour. From the qualifiers, athletes are selected to attend one of six regional finals.
The Atlantic regional final is slated for Sept. 29 in Halifax.
Last year, Andrew Wood of St. John’s was the top performer in the Atlantic final. Wood, a member of the Memorial University Sea-Hawks track and field team, topped more than 100 athletes.
The RBC Training Ground program, open to anyone between the ages of 14-25, measures athletes for suitability with regards to body size and proportion. They are required to perform speed, power, strength and endurance tests in front of officials from the Canadian Olympic Committee and national sport organizations.
Next week in St. John’s, athletes will be tested in a 40m sprint, mid-thigh pull, vertical leap and a beep test.
Should they be selected to attend the regional final in Halifax, tests will include a 40m sprint, six-second bike test, strength testing, single broad jump, standing triple jump and arm/leg bike test.
The purpose of the program is to find true athletes who have not yet shown up on the sporting radar, and introduce them to the Olympic system.
Athletes who, for example, have not competed in bobsleigh but are strong and fast could find a spot in that program.
Sports partnered with the 2018 program are athletics, judo, women’s basketball, rowing, bobsleigh/skeleton, rugby, canoe/kayak, speed skating, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, cycling, water polo, freestyle skiing and wrestling.
Canoe/kayaker Marshall Hughes will be the RBC Olympian on hand at the St. John’s event next week. Hughes is currently competing at the Canadian sprint canoe/kayak championship in Sherbrooke, Que., after returning from the world championships in Portugal.
Hughes, has been a member of the national team since 2013, when he was the youngest at just 18. A winner of multiple national championships, the Nova Scotian is a four-time Pan American medallist, and has competed in multiple world championships.
His aim is secure a spot on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games squad.
For those wishing to register for the Sept. 9 St. John’s stop in the RBC Training Ground program, visit www.rbctrainingground.ca