Abbotsford’s Lucienne Romeo is one of two local athletes selected to attend the RBC Training Ground National Final on Sept. 14. (Submitted)

Abbotsford’s Lucienne Romeo is one of two local athletes selected to attend the RBC Training Ground National Final on Sept. 14. (Submitted)

Pair of Abbotsford athletes head to Training Ground final

Max Kerr and Lucienne Romeo invited to continue dreams of Olympic glory

A pair of athletes from Abbotsford have been invited to the RBC Training Ground National Final, which is the last stop on the Canadian Olympic Committee’s search for national Olympic talent.

Abbotsford’s Max Kerr, 19, and Lucienne Romeo, 14, were both selected from a pool of close to 2,000 athletes who participated in one of 30 local RBC Training Ground events this year.

Kerr’s name was put forward by Rowing Canada and Romeo’s was selected by Rugby Canada.

Kerr, who has never competed in rowing, originally listed himself as a basketball player at the talent search. Kerr showed up at the Training Ground event held in Victoria in March. His sport background, combined with his measurements (height and arm span) and results in speed, power, strength, and endurance benchmark tests, caught the eye of Olympic talent scouts.

Romeo, who listed rugby as her main sport, impressed scouts at the Langley event through her experience in the sport and the benchmark tests.

They are now in a group of 100 athletes who will compete for funding (by redoing the benchmark tests) and a spot on one of eight partner National Sport Organization (NSO) teams at the RBC Training Ground National Final on Sept. 14 in Calgary. Thirty athletes at the event will be awarded funding and sign up with a national program.

The national final in Calgary is the final leg of this cross-country, year-long search for new Olympic talent and raw potential.

Thirty athletes at the national final will officially be selected as RBC Future Olympians – receiving funding and resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.

The full list of 100 athletes competing in the final will be posted on Aug. 26, after the RSVP process is complete. But Kerr and Romeo have already accepted their invitations.

As part of RBC’s commitment to finding the next generation of Olympic talent, transportation to Calgary, hotel and food are all included for the invited athletes.

At the event, Kerr and Romeo will also have the chance to pick the brains of Olympic champions Justin Kripps (bobsleigh, 2018), Patrick Chan (team figure skating, 2018) and Penny Oleksiak (100 metres freestyle swim, 2018), who are all on site to inspire the participants. Tokyo 2020 medal hopeful Melissa Humana-Paredes (beach volleyball) will also be on site.

The complete list of athletes invited to the 2019 RBC Training Ground National Final, as well as the list of 2019 NSO partner, will be posted Aug. 26, at rbctrainingground.ca.