Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - Victoria, BC
In early August, RCA asked National Team athletes to re-locate to a single training centre in Victoria for the short term. This decision was made by the RCA High Performance Leadership Team (HPD and Head Coaches). The Leadership Team believes that the most critical gap in performance is related to on water technical deficiencies - rather than strength and conditioning. Victoria was chosen as the preferred location due to a desire to keep a critical mass of athletes in a competitive environment and on the water throughout the winter months of the 2017/18 season.
Athletes were encouraged, not mandated, to move to Victoria. Athletes that chose to stay in London are still supported with access to coaching, equipment, facilities and sports science and medical services. London based athletes that choose to relocate to Victoria will be given financial assistance to support their relocation by RCA in addition to relocation support offered by Sport Canada.
RCA appreciates that this decision has had an impact on the athletes, coaches, sport science partners, ROWONTARIO and members of the London rowing community. This was a shorter-term (tactical) decision to bring athletes together and to get them on the water over the winter. This has understandably been perceived as a longer-term decision, with concern in London and Ontario as well as other parts of the wider rowing community that insufficient analysis and consultation had been completed.
RCA intends to complete an environmental scan to inform the location of the team for 2019/2020 and determine the longer term National Training Centre Strategy for the following 10 -15 years. This scan will seek insights from athletes, coaches, HP staff, key stakeholders and performance partners to ensure the optimal plan is established to increase Canada’s international rowing success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and further flourish in 2024 and beyond. Given the importance and significance of this, RCA will engage an independent third party firm to carry out consultation, subsequent analysis and facilitate a more rigorous decision-making process.
RCA is committed to building stronger relationships and a better understanding of how we can work together with all the provinces for the betterment of our sport. RCA welcomes an open dialogue on this matter. We will continue to provide updates as the environmental scan moves forward. If you have questions or would like to provide input to RCA’s NTC and Facilities Strategy, please reach out to us.