One-hundred athletes have been selected for the national final ©COC

A programme dedicated to finding the next generation of Canadian Olympians has selected 100 young athletes to attend an inaugural national final in Calgary.

The RBC Training Ground scheme was set up in 2016 with the backing of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Olympic Foundation, CBC Sports and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network.

It operates all over the country in a bid to unearth fresh talent who could represent Canada at the Olympic Games.

Earlier this year, 2,000 hopefuls attended qualifying events, with this number now whittled down to the final 100.

Their speed, power, strength and endurance were all tested.

The final will be held on September 14 where the 100 will again be trimmed down to 30 athletes who will be named as RBC "Future Olympians".

They will be rewarded with funding and resources to pursue their Olympic ambitions.

"It's quite impressive to see how much the Training Ground programme has grown over a short period of time," said David Shoemaker, the COC chief executive. 

Kelsey Mitchell won gold at the Pan American Games after coming through the scheme ©Getty Images
Kelsey Mitchell won gold at the Pan American Games after coming through the scheme ©Getty Images

"Every year the programme seems to identify high-performance athletes that are capable of representing Canada at the highest level. 

"Just last month at Lima 2019, we saw Kelsey Mitchell, who discovered track cycling through Training Ground, win two medals. 

"Today we can call her a Pan American champion and record holder."

Matt McGlynn, the vice-president of brand marketing at sponsors Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), added: "The RBC Training Ground national final is a unique opportunity for young, high-potential athletes discovered at this year's local events to earn support and start their Olympic journey.

"At RBC we are very proud to support our Canadian Olympic athletes at every stage of their careers."

Olympic gold medallists will be on hand to lend their support at the national final, including bobsleigh's Justin Kripps, figure skater Patrick Chan and swimmer Penny Oleksiak.