RBC Training Ground - investing in Canada's Olympic future

By Adam Donnelly
February 20, 2018 - 4:31pm Updated: February 20, 2018 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS --- It's hard not to feel a swell of Canadian pride watching so many fellow Canucks ascend that podium in Pyeongchang at the Winter Olympics --- which makes the timing of the RBC Training Ground event held at the Tournament Capital Centre last weekend almost perfect. 

"It helps you think like, well, I can do it to," says future Olympic hopeful Kally King, "because if they're doing it, what makes you think that you can't."

Bryson Wood, who was exploring his potential at the Training Ground says "A few year ago I thought that could never be me.  I know if I work hard enough, I can definately get there."

The RBC Training Ground is a chance for young athletes to go through combine to showcase their athletic prowess.    Dozens of athletes from the southern interior came together to test their mettle and potentially win a spot in the regional final in early April at the Richmond Oval.   

"You can come and show your stuff." says 2012 Olympic silver medalist Will Crothers, "We have strength, speed, endurance --- all sorts of different events to try out while we have these national sport organizations here at the RBC Training Ground, watching them and looking for that diamond in the rough."

The goal of the RBC Training Ground events is to try and identify youth who have exceptional athletic abilities, but maybe don't get the opportunity to experience some of the Olympic sports that are less accessible.

"Maybe some of these kids have been involved in rugby --- we've got the rowing people here and we say 'oh, that kid would be pretty good at rowing', so we'll go and try to open that door for these guys." says Crothers.

Among local athletes who put their skills on display were Kally King and Bryson Wood.

King is rugby player who is hoping she'll get noticed by Rugby Canada, so she can be in the mix for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I really want to play in the Olympics, 2020." says King.  "Hopefully you'll see me there --- this is my goal in life to play there --- this is helpful to see where I am, and where I need to get better in some places."

Adds Wood "I've thought about competing in other types of sports prior to this.  But then coming here and seeing what things I'm good at and what things I'm not, kind of gave me some insight into some other sports I can do."

If you happened to miss the RBC Training Ground event in Kamloops, there's one in Kelowna this coming weekend, as well as Burnaby on March 17th, before the regional finals April 67th.

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