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Archery Canada’s Recurve High Performance Program Formalizes National Training Squad

March 10, 2017
Archery Canada’s Recurve High Performance Program Formalizes National Training Squad

Archery Canada’s recurve high performance program most recently established its long-term strategy with a balanced approach between the immediate term and achieving a best-ever finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and the longer-term, which targets a podium finish at the 2024 Olympics. A significant component of this strategy is the implementation of an increasingly centralized and monitored training environment for those athletes who are selected to the National Training Squad (NTS), and who are identified as being able to support the program’s performance ambitions.

Starting in 2017, the program’s primary investments in our athletes, including carding, programming and coaching,are now increasingly determined by a metric-driven analysis, which considers an athlete’s potential of winning an Olympic medal. During 2016, a performance evaluation framework was designed to consider a variety of measures and metrics for evaluating our athletes in comparison to those athletes who have achieved podium success at the Olympic Games, World Championships, and World Cup events. Essentially, the performance benchmarks for the program are set by the best in the world.

Under the leadership of Alan Brahmst (High Performance Advisor), and with the significant support of Shawn Riggs and Joan McDonald, the program has established a process for ranking and comparing athletes regardless of age or distance shot, and has created what is commonly known as a podium results track (PRT). “In alignment with other sports in Canada, and leading archery nations, we simply have to adjust our athlete development and investment model to increase our opportunity for winning at the Olympics,” states Brahmst. Furthermore he added, “we have worked hard to develop the analytics, processes, and frameworks to determine if a 16 year old archer might have more potential of winning an Olympic medal than, say, a 26 year old. We are building out an evidence-based PRT, and either you are on it, or you have to demonstrate an ability to get onto it in order to be part of our NTS”.

The approach to evaluate and then optimize financial investments based on an athlete’s PRT, in addition to centralizing the training environment, is the program’s immediate focus. “Our program is performance-based, and it is demanding, but it is designed based on a best-practice framework, which has proven to accelerate success. It works, and it is the direction the program is taking in order to provide value to the athlete by offering them the best opportunity for winning on the world stage,” concludes Brahmst.

The NTS was established during an extensive evaluation in the fall of 2016 as part of the carding nomination process and the development of the performance strategy. A total of 10 male and 2 female athletes are currently part of the squad and training program, which is centralized in Toronto for seven of the athletes, while the other five athletes are integrated through targeted training camps and close collaboration with their personal coaches. Outside of the technical training, other sport science services such as performance psychology and strength and conditioning programming are also being delivered in an increasingly centralized capacity.

In addition to the NTS model, Archery Canada is establishing a formal Next Generation (NG) program, which is focused on athletes with podium potential in the 5-8 year horizon. Athletes may be part of both the NTS and NG programs, and details of identification and selection for both programs will be further formalized and communicated in the near future. For the moment, a variety of evaluation opportunities for entry to the NTS already exist, such as the Canadian Ranking List and the TOP program.

The following athletes are currently part of the 2017 National Training Squad:

Crispin Duenas, Toronto, 31

Brian Maxwell, Vancouver, 31

Hamilton Nguyen, Toronto, 25

Brandon Xuereb, Toronto, 21

Connor Sorley, Toronto, 21

Brad Fulsang, Peterborough, 24

Adam Serdinsky, Waterloo, 21

Aaron Cox, Devon, AB, 17

Hayden Edwards, Toronto, 18

Joel Vezina-Boucher, Montreal, 20

Georcy Stéphanie Thiffeault-Picard, Montreal, 26

Lauriane Lalonde, Montreal, 17  

About Archery Canada

Archery Canada is the national sport organization responsible for the promotion and development of the timeless sport of archery in a safe and ethical manner. Archery Canada supports the achievement of high performance excellence in archery in all categories and the development of a national archery infrastructure to promote archery participation across Canada in cooperation with the provincial/territorial archery associations. Visit:  .