Vanderhoof speed skater wins RBC Future Olympian funding

Alison Desmarais’ Olympic dream is back on track

Alison Desmarais at the RBC Training Ground in Calgary. (Photo a courtesy of Kevin Light)

Northern B.C. athlete has been chosen to receive funding after her stellar performance at the RBC Training Ground in Calgary.

Vanderhoof speed skater, Alison Desmarais was the only northern B.C. athlete and one of 100 chosen in September, from 2,000 athletes across Canada to try out at the RBC Training Ground, which is a talent identification and athlete funding program designed to uncover athletes with Olympic potential.

Additionally they provide athletes with the high-performance sport resources they need to achieve their goals, as stated on the RBC Training Ground website.

READ MORE: Vanderhoof athlete one in 100 chosen for the first RBC Training Ground national final

The event was held on Sept. 14 and there were 30 available spots for funding this year and Demarais performed well.

She is one of just 30 athletes chosen from across the country, from a variety of sports, to earn funding this year as a “RBC Future Olympian.”

Desmarais will be on a fast track with Speed Skating Canada’s national development team.

“I am very excited to get back to training and skating,” she said.

Being around high performance athletes was a very “cool” experience, Demarais said, adding she got to meet athletes from across the country who participate in different sports.

“I met a girl who did judo and rowing which I thought was a very interesting combination.”

“The athlete were so like minded. We would sit in the athlete lounge and talk about all the random exercises we are doing and the hardest thing we have ever done. So much fun.”

Desmarais will be participating in her first competition this season in March, 2020.

She will start training in January as she is studying full time at the University of Calgary. Her university degree is in Kinesiology, with a major in exercise and health physiology.

Desmarais had spent time with the national speed skating team in Montreal in the Fall of 2018, but being that far away from home, didn’t work out for her. She participated in short-track, but has been selected for funding at the RBC Training Ground for long-track speed skating.

Desmarais will be training at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Calgary.

“I’ll be working on my technique due to the switch from short track to long track. Will work on conditioning and strength which will be my focus.”

The funding she has received, can be used in the coming years for things like coaching, transportation, travel, equipment and nutrition, varies for each individual athlete and is administered by the participating national sport organization bringing the athlete into its system, stated a news release. The funding is provided by RBC.

Desmarais trained for years at both her home club – the Clippers Speed Skating Club – and the Prince George Speed Skating Club. She is a recent graduate of Nechako Valley Secondary School.

National sport organizations participating in RBC Training Ground include Athletics, Canoe Kayak, Cycling, Freestyle Ski, Rowing, Rugby and Speed Skating.

While Desmarais was identified by national scouts from a sport she’s already participating in, several identified athletes will now be training and competing in a brand new sport, stated the Nov. 13 media release.

Ryan Gibson, a hockey player from Kingston, Ontario, will now be training with Speed Skating Canada. Mégane Guénette, an artistic gymnast from Saint Jérome, Quebec will now be training with Freestyle Ski Canada. And Skye Pellerin, a long distance runner from Ottawa Ontario, will now be in Cycling Canada’s Track Cycling program, as stated in the media release.

For future Vanderhoofian athletes who dream to compete at the same level, Desmarais said, “you need to want it.”

“A large part of the reason why I am this far is because I wanted it and put in a lot of effort in getting here on my own, with the support of my parents, sponsors and other clubs. I have had amazing support. It definitely though starts from the athlete themselves wanting to achieve it.”

If you have fun and love the sport, you will probably find a way to get to the top, Desmarais added.


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Alison Desmarais (Photo courtesy of Kevin Light)

Just Posted

COVID-19: Northern Health assuring public it has declared no public exposure events or outbreaks

As of Sept. 17, there are 241 cases in the Northern Health Authority region

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Anne Marie Sam seeks NDP nomination for Nechako Lakes riding

She also ran in 2017 but was defeated by BC Liberal John Rustad

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read