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National sport organizations searching for talent Sunday in Charlottetown

Shannon MacAulay does the beep test at the 2017 RBC Training Ground event in Charlottetown.
Shannon MacAulay does the beep test at the 2017 RBC Training Ground event in Charlottetown. - Jason Malloy

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Island athletes have the opportunity Sunday to show Canadian officials from 14 Olympic sports what they have to offer.

RBC Training Ground gives local athletes – no matter what sport they are involved in – the chance to test their strength, speed, power and endurance. The Canadian sport officials are working to uncover athletic gems on the Island.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and RBC initiative was created to bring new athletes into Canada's Olympic talent pool.

There is no charge to participate.

And Islanders don’t have far to look for inspiration of what is possible.

Mount Herbert’s Shannon MacAulay was one of 30 athletes selected in 2017 to receive ongoing support funding from RBC in order to pursue their Olympic dreams, including travel, coaching and nutrition expenses.

The former national team hockey player was identified by Rowing Canada and is now pursuing a future in rowing with support from RBC. Less than a year after taking up the sport MacAulay won the women's coastal event at the August 2018 Red Island Regatta on the Brudenell River.

More than 2,100 athletes participated in RBC Training Ground events across the province last year with more than 300 invited for additional testing. The 300 included 45 from Atlantic Canada and five from the Charlottetown event.

This year Charlottetown is one of more than 30 local combines happening across the country.

Top performers from Charlottetown will advance to an Atlantic regional final in Halifax on Sept. 29 or begin further testing (one-on-one) with specific sports.

Sunday’s event is open to any athletes from the region between the ages of 14 and 25 who are curious about whether they might be suited to an Olympic sport. Athletes are encouraged to sign up in advance at rbctrainingground.ca but can register the day of as well.

At the event they will perform speed, power, strength and endurance benchmark tests in front of officials from the Canadian Olympic Committee and 14 national sport organizations in hopes of re-energizing a dream or being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport.

The officials and talent scouts will be representing snowboard, basketball, cross-country skiing, wrestling, speed skating, athletics, bobsleigh, skeleton, canoe, kayak, cycling, rowing, rugby, freestyle, judo and water polo.

Sunday’s event runs 9 a.m. to noon at UPEI’s Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre.

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