March 24/10 9:29 am - Canadian National Para-Cycling Camp
Posted by Editoress on 03/24/10
The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) is holding a two week training camp for the national para-cycling team in Varadero, Cuba. 15 athletes from all disciplines are attending, plus 5 coaches, massage therapists, medical staff, physiotherapists and nutritional experts.
The camp is the most extensive ever offered for the para program, and comes in a year when the world championships are taking place in Canada. Canada's para-cycling program is one of the most successful disciplines in cycling, with athletes achieving nine medals in international competition last year, including a world title by Robert Labbé.
"The level of para competition increases every year," explained national coach Eric Van den Eynde. "It used to be that a person with a disability became an athlete, now you are an athlete who has a disability."
The first week of the camp is filled with most of the IST group presentations and individual assessments in physiotherapy, sport medicine and nutrition. National Development Coach, Sebastien Travers is also on site to provide additional coaching and organisational support.
Under a Coach Development initiative made possible through funding from Sport Canada, the camp welcomes 3 provincial coaches looking at extending their para-cycling coaching knowledge: Stephen Burke (AB), Pascal Choquette (QC) and Andrew Scott (PEI).
Most of these athletes will participate individually at the Défi Sportif in Montreal, QC, from April 30-May 2 aiming for a final National Team Selection to the Spring European World Cup.
Canadian Cyclist was fortunate to attend a few days of the camp, and will be posting interviews over the next week, starting with CP (Cerebral Palsy) Paralympian Brayden McDougall (below).
Athletes attending in Cuba:
Mark Beggs John Berezcki Pierre-Olivier Boily Eric Bourgault Mark Breton Alexandre Carrier Brian Cowie Devon Smibert Robert Labbé Brayden McDougall Marie-Claude Molnar Rico Morneau Geneviève Ouellet Emilie Roy Matthieu Parent