TORONTO, June 24, 2020 – Today, RBC announced an investment of $230,000 CAD to support the Next Generation programming needs of the nine National Sport Organizations involved in its nation-wide talent identification and athlete funding program, RBC Training Ground. The investment, arriving at an especially critical time for sports dealing with the effects of the pandemic, will be distributed in grants which range from $10,000 to $30,000 CAD.
Canoe Kayak Canada will focus its grant on coaching support among both sprint and slalom disciplines. The funding will support national Next Generation coaches and bringing in additional Club and Provincial coaching support at Next Generation training camps.
“Due to the global pandemic, we’ve had to pause on identifying new athletes with Olympic potential through RBC Training Ground events, but what’s not on pause is our investment in Canada’s Olympic future,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “This is most certainly a unique year, but we know it’s more important than ever to help ensure RBC Future Olympians and Next Generation athletes under the care of our NSO partners continue to receive the funding support that will further their athletic development.”
“The additional funding planned for Next Gen coaching initiatives will both enhance the coaching support to the athletes at Next Gen training camps and promote club and Provincial Coach development and mentorship opportunities,” said CKC’s National Team Manager, Emily MacKeigan. “In light of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games and continued focus on 2021, these funds will help keep momentum of the Next Gen program and provide continued support to athletes who have their eyes on Paris 2024.”
Other NSOs receiving grants include Rugby Canada, Rowing Canada, Cycling Canada, Freestyle Ski Canada, Speed Skating Canada, Ski Jumping Canada, Nordic Combined Canada and Boxing Canada. Like Canoe Kayak, these sport organizations participate in RBC Training Ground, testing and identifying athletes with Olympic potential, and ultimately nominating them for funding and the opportunity to join their National Team programs.
“This RBC commitment comes at an especially critical time for our National Sport Organization partners, who are under financial pressure,” said David Shoemaker, Chief Executive Officer, COC. “These funds will help reduce the financial burden on emerging athletes and help ensure their journey to the podium stays on track. Working together with Canadian Olympic Foundation, RBC Training Ground has been an incredible funding program for the high-performance community and we greatly appreciate the support.”
RBC Training Ground provides Canadian athletes between the ages of 14-25 – no matter what sport or activity they are involved in – the chance to test their strength, speed, power and endurance in front of officials from National Sport Organizations looking to identify new talent. Top performers at free local qualifying events are then invited to sport specific testing with Partner Sports, with the potential of being one of 100 athletes invited to the RBC Training Ground National Final where up to 30 athletes are ultimately selected for funding and a potential spot on a Canadian National Team. Since 2016, RBC Training Ground has tested 8,500 young elite athletes at more than 100 free local events across the country, identifying over 800 high-potential athletes. More than $1.7M in funding has been provided to 117 RBC Future Olympians to help support their Olympic dreams.