Richmond, BC – 35 athletes between the ages of 15 and 22 tested their capacity for sport performance at its highest level as part of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific’s PODIUM SEARCH on Saturday, May 31 at the Richmond Olympic Oval. This is the third year for the PODIUM SEARCH initiative but the first time the event has been hosted on the lower mainland.
PODIUM SEARCH is a free half-day athlete identification camp designed to provide athletes with an introduction to the high performance sport environment. In addition to the testing events, athletes heard an inspirational address from keynote speaker Ben Rutledge, 2008 Olympic gold medallist in rowing.
Four of the 35 athletes in attendance were vying for the attention of a Paralympic sport. The attendance of these four parasport athletes is thanks to the deliberate re-focus of the high performance sport strategy for parasports that has been taking place across the country and in the province of BC.
“We are thrilled to have attracted athletes who we believe will be successful in parasport to the event. This is exactly what we are looking for, athletes who have what it takes and are willing to give it their all but need help identifying their sport,” said Kurt Innes, Director of Talent Development at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. “The team of experts in attendance Saturday concluded that a handful of the participating athletes have the real potential to succeed in high performance sport.”
PODIUM SEARCH is the result of powerful partnerships between the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and our National and Provincial funding partners in concert with various National and Provincial Sport Organizations.
“Helping to develop our future Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls is something the Government of British Columbia takes great pride in. PODIUM SEARCH camps are a great way to identify local talent and give our athletes the opportunity to train for competition at the highest possible level. Events like this are not just about sport, they are about creating legacies and strengthening communities,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, congratulations and thank you to Canadian Sport Institute Pacific on taking the initiative to recently add a Paralympic component to their PODIUM SEARCH,” said Catherine Gosselin-Després, ED Sport of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “This approach aligns perfectly with our high performance focus and on helping identify the next generation of potential Paralympians. It is very exciting to see the calibre of athletes with a disability who came forward to be identified at this training camp. We are very pleased to be partnering with Canadian Sport Institute Pacific on nurturing Paralympic podium potential as we work towards future Games.”
Athletes who participated in PODIUM SEARCH will be evaluated for possible selection for Canadian Sport Institute Pacific’s Sport Programs based on their test scores during the camp.
The next PODIUM SEARCH is planned for September 2014 in Whistler.