How do PSOs currently use fitness testing in their High Performance Programs?

What role can PODIUM SEARCH or RBC Training Ground play in helping to fitness test PSO athletes?

How can Canadian Sport Institute Pacific assist PSOs in helping to test athletes?

These were some of the questions explored at Canadian Sport Institute Pacific’s most recent Powering Podiums workshop on September 21, 2017. The main purpose of this event was to empower Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s) to use PODIUM SEARCH as a fitness testing event for targeted athletes and to support RBC Training Ground in inspiring future Olympians.

Update: What is PODIUM SEARCH and RBC Training Ground?

After the facilitated discussion, Kurt Innes presented on PODIUM SEARCH and RBC training ground. The key takeaways from the presentation [PPT] identified:

  1. How PODIUM SEARCH and RBC Training ground can be used by PSOs as an option to enhance athlete monitoring and progress.
  2. How the program is inspiring thousands of young Canadians toward high performance dreams.

Backed by the nationally recognized RBC Training Ground, BC’s PODIUM SEARCH is a critical athlete enhancement program that can help to inspire your athletes’ Olympic dreams.

PODIUM SEARCH provides PSO’s with the means to test and measure their athletes’ physical capacity utilizing field tests that ensure reliability and precision within four core physical abilities; speed, strength, endurance and power.

Each PODIUM SEARCH is an RBC Training Ground regional qualifying event. PODIUM SEARCH will be offered in each region within BC, in partnership with the PacificSport regional centres / Viasport Alliance. This regional access allows greater and more efficient access to testing and monitoring for athletes in their home communities.

The Canadian Sport Institute Pacific’s point person for PODIUM SEARCH and RBC Training ground is Elissa Alarie, Talent Development Coordinator, and former National and Olympic rugby player.

How Can Canadian Sport Institute Pacific Help?

A number of Canadian Sport Institute Pacific staff attended the event and monitored conversations with PSOs. The following statement are a summary of different staff perceptions of the event:

Drew Todd – Manager Athlete Services

The key areas of discussion were looking at what PSO high performance programs are currently doing to test/monitor their targeted athletes, how they can engage Institute benefits to support testing, and specifically, the role RBC Training Ground / PODIUM SEARCH plays in the system and how it can be leveraged to support sport-specific programs. Canadian Sport Institute Pacific can support PSOs by giving them the tools and the expertise to run basic field testing in a performance environment. Most regions of the province have access to field testing equipment available free to PSO targeted high performance coaches registered with Canadian Sport Institute Pacific or an affiliated regional centre. Additionally, if timing allows, staff can assist the coaches in running tests and using the equipment correctly. Some challenges are getting buy-in – not only from the PSO, but also from individual club coaches who are worried about other sports ‘poaching’ their athletes at RBC Training Ground / PODIUM SEARCH events. In terms of athlete testing/monitoring, it can be difficult for PSOs to test athletes reliably as the skillset or access to equipment isn’t available to everyone, and practical barriers exist to have one person test all athletes throughout BC.

Sarah Kiengersky – Athlete Services Coordinator – Vancouver

PODIUM SEARCH is not only a talent transfer program (we are not trying to ‘steal’ athletes), but an opportunity for PSOs and NSOs to engage in talent identification and testing experiences for their athletes. It seems as if many sports are in the same situation of having testing data for their athletes, but attempting to understand what to do with this data once they have it. Similarly, many PSOs are working to align their testing protocols and benchmarks with NSO GMP benchmarks. Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and its affiliated regional centres have testing equipment available for PSOs and registered coaches to borrow so that can provide their athletes with testing experiences during camps or training, along with a Sport Performance Speaker Series that may provide some ideas on how data can be integrated (Performance Analysis 101 recording).

Elissa Alarie, Talent Development Coordinator

It was very positive to see how engaged everyone was and the types of questions that were asked. It helped me understand better why coaches, PSOs and NSOs would or wouldn’t encourage their athletes to attend a PODIUM SEARCH or RBC Training Ground event. To be able to standardize testing across BC and even Canada, to then share and compare data would be beneficial to athletes and organizations on so many levels. I think this was something everyone agreed on and where Canadian Sport Institute Pacific can be quite helpful. In addition, for them to have access to field testing equipment seemed to be of interest to many of them. Another interesting concept is the idea that RBC Training Grounds could potentially be a last “net” to capture athletes before they choose to stop pursuing their sport. This is especially true with female athletes following post secondary as the participation rate keeps dropping for many reasons, such as, not having enough professional opportunities for them and/or they are unaware of how their athletic abilities could be put to good use. The challenge remains to keep these discussions going in order to increase number of tested athletes as well as increase the conversion of these athletes to national teams and podiums (quality of athletes tested). I look forward to being more involved with these events and it was great to meet so many BC PSOs.

Where can I get more information?

Information on CSI Pacific service can be found our websites at the following links: