OTTAWA, Ont. – Water Polo Canada (WPC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new pilot project of a Regional Development Centre (RDC) in collaboration with the Ontario Water Polo Association (OWPA), the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC) and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO). As part of the overall WPC High Performance (HP) strategy, the RDC will raise the quality of the daily training environment for the athletes.
Over the past year, WPC national team staff evaluated the current landscape of high performance programming and concluded that the future of our prospective and current Age Group National Team athletes should have access to higher levels of training. This Regional Development Centre is one of the initiatives that will enhanced the depth and quality of our feeder system.
To support athletes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and to sustain the growth of national team athletes, the RDC will host weekly practices to increase the level of training available. WPC will utilize a 1-day camp model to profit from the HP environment of TPASC and CSIO. WPC hopes to increase its talent pool as part of the podium pathway.
As a legacy of the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games/Para Pan American Games, TPASC welcomes many high performance programs including Diving Canada, Swimming Canada and Synchro Canada. The facility includes two internationally sanctioned 10-lane, 50-metre pools as well as a high performance testing centre. The CSIO, located at TPASC, will also allow athletes to access high performance support.
“We are pleased to have Water Polo Canada join our High Performance Sport family here at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. We look forward to building upon this partnership for their Regional Development Centre as we continue to deliver on our mandate as a High Performance Aquatics destination” mentioned Bob Singleton, Managing Director of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to work with Water Polo Canada in developing the next generation of high performance athletes and future members of the Senior National Team. There has always been a strong base of Water Polo players in Ontario and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario is looking forward to working with and supporting the players as they progress through the high performance pathway. Water Polo Canada’s Regional Development Centre adds to an already world-class daily training environment demonstrated by several other high performance programs currently training with CSIO at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, a legacy from the 2015 Pan/Para Pan Am Games.” added Debbie Low, CEO Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
“Water Polo Canada has chosen Toronto as a key site to develop its high performance initiative. This fall we started this pilot project to further develop our next generation of athletes. The athletes joining this program will experience an enhanced daily training environment and focused training that is catered to bringing them to the next level” explained Justin Oliveira, Water Polo Canada High Performance Director.
Water Polo Canada will welcome about twenty male athletes for the first year of the Regional Development Centre pilot project. Based on the provisional number of athletes in the area, WPC will also host different camps throughout the year geared towards the development of female athletes. The RDC athletes and coaches will work under the leadership of Nishant Damani, OWPA Technical Advisor. Local coach Bogdan Dubrovisky will supervise and monitor the progress of the athletes on a day-to-day basis.
“The RDC is an initiative that currently enables GTA clubs to access high performance training for their athletes. We’re excited to watch the program grow over the next years and become a training hub for athletes, coaches and officials,” stated Nishant Damani, Technical Advisor for Ontario Water Polo Association, and ten-year National Team staff member.
The Regional Development Centre is one of the initiatives WPC wishes to implement in order to improve system alignment and athlete support. Following the same idea, Water Polo Canada may also endorse existing provincial high performance programs that offer a high quality daily training environment and that are supported with competitive opportunities.