CALGARY—Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton will begin blanketing the country in search of the Canada’s next great bobsleigh or skeleton athlete.
Hosted in collaboration with its provincial partners – Alberta Bobsleigh Association, Alberta Skeleton Association, and B.C. Bobsleigh and Skeleton, the national sport body will host recruitment camps in six cities across the country – Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Calgary in January, in an effort to build its talent pool of high-performance athletes. Each camp will consist of a physical testing session for all athletes interested in pursuing a career in one of the two sliding sports.
With a goal of expanding the depth of Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton programs, the aggressive recruitment initiative targets Canadians with athletic ability to the sport. Athletes will be evaluated on a series of dry-land physical testing sessions including short sprints, squats and a series of weightlifting sessions.
Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton has a long history of recruiting world-leading athletes from other sports like track and field, football and rugby. High-profiled Canadian athletes that have been part of BCS’s recruitment drives who have gone on to win Olympic medals include: Heather Moyse (rugby), Kaillie Humphries (alpine skiing), Duff Gibson (multi-sport), Lyndon Rush (football), and Helen Upperton (track and field). Rush is a part of a group of current national team members that have been recruited from the gridiron – none more recognizable than CFL star Jesse Lumsden – who made his Olympic debut in 2010.
"The biggest sell you're going to get to a football player is, if you're passionate about your country, you're going to get the opportunity to represent your country in sport which you'll never get to do in football on an international level," said Lumsden. “Walking into the opening ceremonies and competing at the Vancouver Olympics surpasses any amount of rushing yards in a game that I’ve got, or any of the touchdowns that I scored. It simply trumps everything.”
Other CFL players have followed Lumsden’s lead to the icy bobsleigh chutes. The national team welcomed Sam Giguere (Hamilton Tiger-Cats) and Nick Carriere (Toronto Argonauts) this year.
Open free to athletes 16 years and older wishing to pursue a career in high-performance sport, the first of six camps is set for Saskatoon on January 18.