We’re checking in with our Canadian athletes as they prepare to strive for excellence at the pinnacle of Paralympic sport. This is their Road to Rio.
With a new season of training underway, the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Teams assembled at the National Academy in Toronto for testing camp in mid-October. The athletes underwent a rigorous week of physical and mental tests designed to determine areas of strength and weakness in order to help them improve toward a peak performance in Rio.
“It’s always good to know where you stand with your testing results and it’s also good to know that both you and your teammates are all improving,” said Team Canada player and world champion Arinn Young. “These camps are very important in the lead up to Rio as they give you all of the info you need to get better and not only how to improve yourself, but the whole team. We want to keep improving and when it comes time to be in Rio we will let our game speak for itself.”
“We want to keep improving and when it comes time to be in Rio we will let our game speak for itself.”
The athletes were put through their paces in various tests to measure areas such as speed, strength, agility, endurance and power. The athletes also work alongside and learn from experts in various disciplines, such as strength and conditioning, sport psychology and nutrition.
— WheelchairBballCAN (@WCBballCanada) October 22, 2015
“I have always liked testing camps,” said Paralympic gold medalist and Team Canada player Chad Jassman. “It is always quite a bit of work physically but the science behind some of the tests has always interested me.”
Testing camp also represents an opportunity for the teams to centralize and train together outside of competition.
“Wheelchair basketball has a huge player chemistry component to it,” said Jassman. “I am one of the few athletes not based here full-time, so it’s always more important for me to find that groove and comfort level, especially with the players I will share the court with most.”
“It’s probably one of the most important things to be together with the team and all training as one,” said Young. “We have a strong group of ladies and we all get along really well. Being able to reunite with the team and train together is super important because it strengthens our connection as a team, and that will only help us in Rio. It will just make winning games that much sweeter.”