Delta’s Brielle Zacharias and Sophie Gower are among 100 athletes from across the country invited to the RBC Training Ground National Final on Sept. 15 in Calgary.
Earlier this year nearly 2,000 participated in one of 30 RBC Training Ground qualifying events. The athletes, with a wide range of sporting backgrounds, tested their speed, power, strength and endurance to see if they might be suited for an Olympic sport.
Zacharias, a 16-year-old rock climber, participated in the RBC Training Ground Qualifier in Langley back in April. Gower is a 14-year-old multi-sport athlete who rows for the Delta Deas rowing club and plays basketball for the junior girls team at South Delta Secondary School.
As part of RBC’s commitment to finding the next generation of Olympic talent, transportation to Calgary, hotel and food are all included for the invited athletes.
At the event Zacharias and Gower will also have the chance to pick the brains of Olympic champions Justin Kripps (Bobsleigh, 2018), Patrick Chan (Team Figure Skating, 2018) and Penny Oleksiak (100m Freestyle Swim, 2018), who all will be on site to inspire the participants. Tokyo 2020 medal hopeful Melissa Humana-Paredes (World No. 1 Beach Volleyball) will also be on hand.
Based on their results in Calgary, up to 30 top-performing athletes will officially be selected as RBC ‘Future Olympians’ – receiving funding and resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.
The recent Pan American Games in Lima Peru featured four RBC Training Ground graduates that combined to win six medals, including four gold: Kayakers Jacob Steele, Alanna Bray Lougheed and Anna Negulic, along with cyclist Kelsey Mitchell.
“If it wasn’t for RBC Training Ground, I would have never tried track cycling,” said Mitchell. “This program introduced me to an entirely new sport and it has completely changed my life. I went from working full-time for Stathcona County in Alberta, to training full-time with the national team at Cycling Canada and travelling around the world.
“Recently, I competed at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, where I walked away with a gold and silver medal. None of this would have happened without RBC Training Ground.”
Dedicated to finding and supporting the next generation of Canadian Olympians, RBC Training Ground has tested more than 7,000 athletes at 98 free local events in 35 different Canadian communities. Since 2016, RBC has provided $1.3 million in support to 87 different athletes identified through RBC Training Ground. RBC Training Ground events are free, and open to any athlete between the ages of 14 and 25.