National Training Centre and Facilities Strategy Report

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Friday April 6, 2018 – Victoria, BC

The Sport Law & Strategy Group (SLSG) submitted its final report to the Rowing Canada CEO and Board of Directors on April 4, 2018, which includes a detailed summary of the methodology and recommendations for Rowing Canada (RCA) to consider. The RCA High Performance Leadership Team and the RCA Board of Directors will review and discuss the SLSG final report and recommendations this month. RCA will communicate all decisions and next steps related to the Long Term (post Tokyo 2020) Facilities and National Training Centre (NTC) Strategy. For a summary of the SLSG Report, please click here.

To achieve its vision of being recognized as a consistent world leading rowing nation and multi-medal winning sport in Canada, (see RCA Strategic Plan) RCA partnered with the SLSG in December 2017 to conduct a review of its Facilities and NTC Strategy and inform RCA’s High Performance program’s decision making following the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. RCA communicated an update on its NTC Facilities to membership in November 2017 and January 2018.  As part of the NTC and Facilities Strategy Review, a Working Group was struck to provide direction and to support the overall coordination of activities throughout the review process.

The SLSG and the Working Group implemented a comprehensive consultation process that captured insights from National Team athletes (current and alumni), high performance coaches, high performance staff, key provincial stakeholders, performance partners, Canadian National Sport Organizations and international experts to ensure an optimal strategy that maximizes RCA’s multi-podium success.  Research, analysis and extensive stakeholder consultations were conducted throughout February and March - 205 preliminary survey responses, 45 interviews conducted, 4 in-person athlete focus group sessions (Victoria and London), with additional unsolicited feedback received via phone and email. A secondary internal stakeholder survey was conducted with 48 individuals including senior carded athletes, high performance leadership and senior coaches.

SLSG carefully reviewed all of the data collected and based its recommendations on an analysis of the findings and the extensive contributions from various stakeholder groups.

A summary of these recommendations includes:

1. Establish a primary NTC in Canada that is considered to be the “home base” for RCA’s High Performance Program, opening as early as October 2020:

  • In the lead-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, select a primary NTC home base in Canada that scores highly on the NTC Criteria Scorecard tool which has been provided to RCA. The intent would be to begin the next quadrennial (October 2020) with a functional primary NTC in place.

2. Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) to determine potential sites for the primary NTC:

  • RCA develops a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) document that is distributed across Canada and allows for any ‘site group’ in Canada to submit its proposal to RCA as the potential site for the primary NTC. The RFP will highlight the NTC Criteria Scorecard and the value that will be placed upon a site’s ability to meet the key criteria within the scorecard.

3. In addition to the primary NTC, consider a secondary ‘Regional Performance Centre’, at one of RCA’s existing NextGen Hubs:

  • This is a longer-term goal that would follow the establishment of the primary NTC. The Regional Performance Centre would be utilized on a seasonal basis for designated rowing programs and would be co-located at one of RCA’s NextGen Hubs that are geographically opposite to RCA’s primary NTC.

4. Develop a transitional plan for athletes to relocate to the primary NTC once it is established, giving careful consideration to the needs of senior athletes and the support that can be provided by RCA:

  • RCA has a responsibility to support the transition of athletes impacted by NTC decisions and a transitional plan for 2020 would serve to outline and guide this support as well some key considerations.

5.  Decision Making Process: SLSG has provided a decision-making framework for RCA’s National Training Centre Strategy. 

The RCA High Performance Leadership team and RCA Board of Directors will review the SLSG final report and discuss strategies to address the long-term (2020 & beyond) NTC Plan on April 20-21, 2018. The outcomes of these discussions will be communicated to the NTC athletes, key stakeholders and the broader rowing community.

In addition, the NTC & Facilities Strategy Review has provided tangible insights to RCA’s High Performance program and staff, as they consider the best possible training environments for National Team athletes from 2018 to 2020. The RCA High Performance Leadership team will communicate the plan on April 12th to National Training Centre athletes, followed by a broader communication update to the RCA membership.

Full details and background on the NTC & Facilities Strategy Review can be found here.

For a more detailed summary of the SLSG final report, please contact RCA.

RCA would like to thank the Sport Law & Strategy Group for their efforts in conducting this review. We will continue to provide updates as the NTC & Facilities Strategy moves forward.

Terry Dillon
Chief Executive Officer
Rowing Canada Aviron

Iain Brambell
High Performance Director
Rowing Canada Aviron

Carol Purcer
President
Rowing Canada Aviron

Peter McClelland
Chair
NTC Working Group