Brent Figg, a fitness testing/talent facilitator with Rowing Canada recently visited Stratford Northwestern Secondary School for the day to test 30 Student/Athletes to see if they have some early physical markers that indicate their potential to become an elite level rower.
Athletes were tested using various means: their size, cardiovascular efficiency, and power and strength to see if they meet the minimum physical standards (physical potential) for entry into the Rowing program. Students were given numerical scores for each of their tests.
Northwestern Students completed 6 physical tests:
Olympic Boat Classes Identification
- Strength Tests (3 tests) – (1 – Push, 2 – Pull (row), 3 – Leg Press (Concept 2 Dyno machine)
- Endurance “Step Test” using Schwinn Arm Leg Bike (similar to a running Beep Test (on a stationary Arm/Leg bike testing VO2 Max)
Rowing Canada’s “Row to Podium” is Canada’s official talent identification and development program for rowing. The goal of the program is to mold new athletes into future Olympic and Paralympic Champions. Canada has earned many significant International successes (many Olympic Medals) using this successful program. In a nutshell, Rowing Canada identifies young people with the raw ability (power/strength/endurance), size and overall athletic potential, and they teach the specific sport (rowing) skills to those athletes.
Rowing Canada also shares the athlete testing data with other National sports agencies such as Athletics Canada (Track and Field), Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, and Swimming Canada for potential recruitment in other sports. Athletes who are showing continual improvement and meeting the performance standards will be invited to training camps and if they show continued improvement may have the opportunity to train full time at the National Development Centre (NDC) in Welland Ontario or Vancouver B.C. Rio Olympic medalists Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee (Rowing), Penny Oleksiak (swimming) and Andre De Grasse (track and field) have completed the testing and train at the NDC.
For more information on this incredible program to recruit future Olympic stars please visit their website.
Photos by Randy Johnson