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Saanich speed-climber receives Olympic talent search funding

Ethan Pitcher was a top 30 finalist at the RBC Training Ground finals
Speed-climber Ethan Pitcher climbs at Boulders Climbing Gym. (Brendan Mayer/News Staff)

Saanich speed-climber Ethan Pitcher has been awarded Olympic talent search funding from the RBC Training Ground program.

Pitcher was one of 100 athletes invited to the Training Ground final on Dec. 2 in Toronto and was selected as a top 30 finalist.

“It was an amazing event,” Pitcher said. “The top 30 athletes were given funding to help support them towards their Olympic goals. Getting that funding is very exciting for me. I needed it and I’m very happy.”

Pitcher believes he will receive $25,000.

“I still have a meeting coming up to learn more about the actual funding itself.”

Over 2,200 athletes participated in this year’s Training Ground program, a nationwide talent search which supports future Olympic prospects. Athletes from a wide range of sports perform core speed, strength, power and endurance tests in front of Olympic talent scouts.

“It was really cool to see all these athletes from different sports coming together to give it their best,” Pitcher said.

Funding is administered by the participating National Sport Organization and is typically used for coaching, transportation, travel, equipment and nutrition.

“It will help me with anything that I really need to support me along the way.”

Pitcher regularly trains at Boulders Climbing Gym, which is located at Stelly’s Secondary School.

BMX cyclist Nico Martinez Arroyo, a student at Royal Bay Secondary School, was also selected as a top 30 finalist.

READ MORE: West Shore BMX rider on the fast track with Olympic training

This is the Training Ground program’s eighth year, and they have tested approximately 14,000 athletes at events across the country. There have been 13 finalists who have competed at the Olympics, and they have come home with seven medals.

The next Training Ground season will kick off in February.

“It’s a very cool program,” Pitcher said. “I’d highly recommend it to any athlete out there that wants to make a splash.”

The program will be at the University of Victoria’s CARSA Performance Gym on March 2.

Brendan Mayer

About the Author: Brendan Mayer

I spent my upbringing in Saskatoon, and in 2021, I made the move to Vancouver Island.
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