Posted by Editoress on 07/6/20
Last month, the Royal Bank (RBC) announced that it would be redirecting some of the money intended for new athletes in the RBC Training Ground Talent ID program, due to the pandemic. A total of $230,000 would be redirected to nine sports involved in the program, with $30,000 going to Cycling Canada.
"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."
We spoke with Jesse Korf, Pathway Development Manager at Cycling Canada, who is in charge of the projects that will be implemented with the grant.
"RBC Training Ground typically has a budget to provide stipends to identified athletes that are involved with the program. Because of the pandemic, the qualifying events and the finals testing could not take place this year. So RBC Training Ground and RBC the bank, who provides the money, made the call that instead of retracting the budget and saving it for next year, let's see how we can help sports with programs that they write a proposal for. That's incredibly helpful from their part."
"What we submitted was for three projects. One of the projects is building an online learning space for off-bike topics. Things such as nutrition, information and skills for record keeping, sports psychological constructs - information about sleep, rest and recovery, all of those items. Building them into an online learning platform for athletes around the Junior and NextGen space."
This would allow a lot of flexibility in the future for athletes in that space to develop those essential skills and knowledge when it's convenient for them, which increases flexibility a lot. It also opens up more opportunity and time for our coaches and practitioners to do individualized work and spend more time on other things. We're excited about building this."
"The other two projects ... one isn't far removed from what they are doing with their future Olympian program. A little bit of extra funding will be provided for two developing BMX athletes to do training projects. Our [normal] high performance budgets are based on what we get from government sources [such as Own the Podium] and BMX has had a decrease, so it's a top-up for those two RBC-affiliated athletes. So, it's not a big new project."
"The third one is a sizeable contribution to getting us towards funding a training and race project in Europe on the road for Junior and early Under-23 athletes. Obviously, with the [pandemic], we can't lock [the timing] in for sure, but ideally that would be around the Spring Classics in Belgium and Holland [in 2021]; that's what we are targeting."
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