Young athletes get to show what they can do on Jan. 15

Young athletes get to show what they can do on Jan. 15

Hunt on in Langley for young athletes with Olympic potential

RBC’s relatively new Training Ground Qualifiers happen at Langley Events Centre on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Do young athletes in this community have the potential to be Olympians?

A free qualifying competition being held later this month at the Langley Events Centre will help pinpoint a few of the top.

The event is an identification camp called the RBC Training Ground Qualifier and it’s happening on Sunday, Jan. 15.

The Canadian Spsort Institute Pacific (CSI Pacific) and the PacificSport Fraser Valley are hosting this day-long event, Langley picked to host one of the events because it offered adequate facilities within the Fraser Valley.

The qualifiers have never been held in Langley before, but PacificSport was asked to choose a Valley location, said sport performance coordinator Sherry Hunt.

The triple gym at the Langley Events Centre fit that bill.

“The event includes a 40m sprint, and we were asked to find a facility with an indoor track with a 60m straightaway,” she explained.

“Unfortunately, there aren’t any facilities with this specification in the area,” Hunt elaborated, but LEC was a “suitable alternative.”

It’s a program designed to help sport officials uncover athletes with Olympic podium potential, in sports they may not have considered, said CSI Pacific talent development director Kurt Innes.

Athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 will execute a series of workouts measuring speed, power, strength, and endurance in front of coaches and officials from National Sport Organizations (NSOs).

The participants’ results will be measured against performance benchmarks to determine an athlete’s capacity for sport at its highest level, he said.

Five of these RBC Training Ground Qualifiers are taking place in B.C., including the one in Langley, and others in Prince George (Jan. 21), Burnaby (Feb. 5), Kamloops (Feb. 12), and Victoria (Feb. 19).

The 100 best performers from across the province will be invited to the RBC Training Ground regional final at the CSI Pacific campus at the Richmond Olympic Oval on March 4.

Ultimately, the best of the best may receive financial support towards their training and competition programs for up to three years.

The standout performer at the B.C. regional final will also be awarded a trip to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

RBC Training Ground offers athletes an opportunity to be tested across four fun and challenging fitness stations, Innes said.

“The best part is that it is a national program, and you will be compared against athletes all across Canada in these tests. This is a really awesome program that will hopefully mobilize all athletes across our province to step up and see how well they can perform in each of these tests,” he explained.

RBC Training Ground began last year, with 400 athletes participating in four athletic combines across the country.

Ninety-four athletes met the testing benchmarks set by NSOs, including 25 athletes who were selected to receive funding and support through RBC and the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

The qualifiers happen at LEC, 7888 200th St., on Sunday, Jan. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Organizers say they have capacity for between 125 and 150 athletes.

Eligibility is simple

In order to participate in the RBC Training Ground Qualifier events, athletes must be:

• 14 to 25 years of age (born between 1992 and 2003).

• Competing or have competed in any sport at a minimum of high school, club, regional, and/or college/university.

• Fit, powerful, and strong.

• Mentally tough, competitive, and highly motivated.

• Ready to accept the challenge of becoming part of Canada’s high performance sport pathway.

• Canadian citizens.

• Able and willing to attend and participate fully in the specified event. More information can be found at podiumsearch.ca.

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