Squash Canada joins RBC Training Ground to find new Olympic talent 

Program gives Canadian athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 the chance to be scouted by thirteen Team Canada sports for free, including Squash 

TORONTO, January 16, 2022 — RBC Training Ground is back for a 9th season, and has grown to include new National Sport Organization partners.   

Developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation, and with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, RBC Training Ground is a nation-wide talent identification program dedicated to finding and funding Canada’s future Olympians.  

New NSO partners Flag Football Canada and Squash Canada join longstanding partners like Cycling Canada, Rugby Canada and Freestyle Canada to discover athletes for their national teams. 

At each qualifying event, participants from a wide range of sport backgrounds perform speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of National Sport Organizations (NSO) partners. Following the National Final later this year where 100 hopefuls will compete, the top 30 athletes will be selected as RBC Future Olympians to receive funding, mentorship, and other resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.  

Athletes are encouraged to register for the newest season here.

“What started out in 2016 as an idea to develop the next generation of Team Canada, has since become a cornerstone of Olympic talent development in this country. It’s a testament to the raw athletic talent seen across Canada, and to the program’s ability to break down barriers for young athletes who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue their Olympic dreams,” said Shannon Cole, vice president, brand marketing, RBC. “There is no questioning the power that sport holds to unite and inspire communities and we look forward to continue working with our partners to discover Canada’s future Olympians.” 

Samantha Cornett, Squash Canada’s manager of Athlete Development, said “This program provides an excellent opportunity for Squash Canada’s national Squad members to pursue their Olympic dream, and to get involved with other national-level athletes. It also provides exciting exposure for squash and we look forward to meeting other talented young athletes who will no doubt fall in love with our great sport.”  

With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games fast approaching, as many as 20 RBC Training Ground graduates are in line for spots on Team Canada. This would mark a milestone for the program after five graduates represented Canada at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games and eight graduates competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Among them include program alumni Avalon Wasteneys (Gold, Tokyo 2020, Rowing), Pierce LePage (reigning decathlon World Champion) and two athletes who did not have experience in their Olympic sport until they participated in an RBC Training Ground event, Kelsey Mitchell (Gold, Tokyo 2020, Track Cycling) and Marion Thénault (Bronze, Beijing 2022, Freestyle Skiing).  

“With so many wonderful success stories, RBC Training Ground has become an integral program for fostering future Olympic talent,” said Jacqueline Ryan, chief brand and commercial officer, COC and chief executive officer, Canadian Olympic Foundation. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with RBC on this important program as we work together to support Team Canada on the road to Paris 2024 and beyond.” 

New markets hosting qualifying events in 2024 include Ontario’s Northern (Sudbury), Durham (Whitby) and Halton (Milton) regions. Returning markets include Thompson, Man., Winnipeg, Man., Hamilton, ON., and Vancouver, B.C., with the prioritization of diverse and Indigenous communities. The complete schedule of 2024 RBC Training Ground qualifying events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca 

Last week, RBC Training Ground announced its 2023 RBC Future Olympians roster.   

RBC Training Ground was developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation, with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network. Since its inception in 2016, RBC Training Ground has tested over 14,000 athletes across Canada, with more than 1,600 athletes being identified by NSOs as having Olympic potential – many in a sport they had never considered. Registration and the most up-to-date event information for all local RBC Training Ground events are available at RBCTrainingGround.ca