Windsor Junction’s Langille among finalists for RBC Training Ground

Jill Langille of Windsor Junction is one of the 100 finalists for RBC Training Ground. (UNB Photo)

FREDERICTON, N.B.: A Windsor Junction gymnastics athlete turned track and field athlete is excited about the opportunity that awaits her as one of the 100 finalists for a national search for Olympic-level talent.

Jill Langille, who is a member of the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Reds track and field team, learned last week she had advanced to the final round of the search. She is a rookie member with the Reds track-and-field squad.

The RBC Training Ground is a yearly Canada-wide talent search that runs in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and eight Olympic sports.

Over the past several months, more than 4000 athletes, from a wide range of sports, participated in the search. They performed core speed, strength, power and endurance tests.

According to Atlantic Division of Canoe-Kayak Canada (ADCKC), Sloan MacKenzie of Windsor Junction has also been selected as one of the top 100 finalists. She is one of six ADCKC athletes named to the list.

As a member of the track and field team at Lockview High School, Langille helped the school to a gold medal and a new provincial record in the intermediate girls 4-by-100 metre relay at the 2019 provincial championships.

Previously, Langille was a member of Nova Scotia’s and Canada’s women’s artistic gymnastics team. She competed at the 2019 Canada Winter Games and internationally.

“After not re-making the national gymnastics team, I found it hard to find the motivation to train,” said Langille. “It took a while before I found a new motivation. My coaches and my parents inspired me to try RBC Training Ground, something new and out of my comfort zone, and it has really energized me.

“The experience has really helped me explore new sports and has helped me gain more confidence and push myself to train harder, for track, gymnastics or anything else that I get to try.”

She told the Laker News after 15 years of gymnastics it was time to find something new.

“Especially going to University, it was time to give something else a shot,” she said. “I ended gym on an amazing high, competing in virtual nationals and placing second on vault.”

Chris Belof, UNB’s head coach for their track and field team, said Langille is a special athlete and her range of ability is very unique.

“She’s incredibly powerful and very explosive,” said Belof in a release. “Her rapid progression in athletics demonstrates she’s only starting to scratch the surface of her potential.”

Belof says Langille has been a great addition to the REDS family.

“Jill is a very kind and caring person who makes everyone around her better,” he said. “Both myself and her training partners are excited to watch her grow over the next few years.”

The top 100 will now compete in the RBC Training Ground national final, with the chance of being one of 30 athletes to earn funding and a spot on Team Canada, in a sport they might not have considered.

“RBC Training Ground is designed to help fill Canada’s Olympic sport talent pipeline, and provide ‘next gen’ talent with the high-performance sport resources needed to reach podiums,” said Evan MacInnis, Technical Director for RBC Training Ground. “Some of the athletes who participate are looking to re-energize or boost an Olympic dream in a sport they are participating in.

“Others participate with the hope of being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport they may have never considered. But they all rely on raw athleticism to impress our sport partners and have an open mind to see where things might lead.”

In 2018, Steven Randall, then a member of the REDS men’s volleyball team won RBC Training Ground in the Atlantic Region. That prompted changes for Randall, who is now a member of the men’s rowing team at the University of Victoria.

During RBC Training Ground’s final testing, athletes’ speed, power, strength, and endurance will again be tested against sport-specific, high-performance benchmarks over the course of a few hours, under supervision of program sport partners, and in individual or small group formats (as local COVID 19 safety protocols allow).

The 30 athletes selected for funding will be announced in early January 2022.

At the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, eight RBC Training Ground athletes competed and four won medals.