Canadian Sport Instute
  • Objective of the Project:

    The Talent Lab is an initiative of the CSI Calgary whose objective is to identify, then fast track the development of targeted athletes into national team programs. The purpose of this ambitious and selective program is two fold: to improve the quality of talent available for selection to Canadian senior national teams and to utilize expert support from CSI Calgary sport scientists, medical practitioners and strength and movement coaches to enhance each athlete’s development in order to maximize their podium prospects at World Championships and Olympic Games.

    Target Athletes:

    The Talent Lab facilitates the redirection of athletes who due to injury, burn out, frustrated ambition or simply being in the wrong sport, are looking for opportunities to fulfill their Olympic dreams in other sports. The CSI Calgary Talent Lab team evaluates an athlete’s training history, interests and potential to determine which sport to place them with. The sports targeted for redirected athletes are primarily late entry endurance sports such as cycling and rowing where athletes are able to progress quickly through to elite performance levels; when properly managed the best such athletes are able to win Olympic medals within 4 years of recruitment to their new sport.

    The Talent Lab also works with athletes in late adolescence from sports that are late entry or late specialization who have been talent identified from within their sport by the CSI-Calgary. The aim is to help athletes identified from within a sport, make successful and quick transitions from age group programs onto the senior national team. Athletes targeted in this stream are fast developers who are considered to be on similar development trajectories to previous elite performers and who would benefit from Integrated Support Team services at an earlier stage of development than is the norm in Canada. The expectation is that most athletes will graduate from the program onto senior national teams within two years.

    What support does the Talent Lab offer?

    Athletes supported through the Talent Lab receive sport science and sport medicine support services as deemed appropriate and necessary to their individual development by the Integrated Support Team that oversees the Project. The Talent Lab team work with the athlete’s technical coach to enhance the athlete’s development. The support services provided are similar to the support offered to national development card level athletes. The Integrated Support Team will review each athlete’s physiological and competitive progress every 6 months, and in consultation with the athlete’s coach may end an athlete’s participation in the Project if they are not satisfied that the athlete can achieve the Project Objective of selection to a senior national team.

    This CSI Calgary initiative is funded with the help of B2ten.
  • 16-02-24-WagnerEmily Wagner did not always have her heart set on becoming a triathlete. The 18-year-old Calgarian grew up playing a wide range of community sports including ringette, soccer, and gymnastics. However, it was her prowess in competitive swimming and cross country running that prompted someone to suggest she test her abilities in a triathlon at the age of fifteen.

    Three years later, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) athlete has been named Junior Triathlete of the Year. Wagner admits, “I really was not expecting it! There were a lot of other strong junior triathletes who had a great year as well.”

    Wagner has been supported by the CSI Calgary since September 2013, only three months after she competed in her first triathlon. She was seen as an athlete with great potential by the CSI Calgary’s Lead of Athlete Development Paula Jardine and became part of the Talent Lab program. Wagner says the program has been “a great platform that provided me with the resources necessary to initiate my triathlon career. The services have been a great help to my success thus far. Testing in the Sport Performance Laboratory has helped my training, giving me a base line to work with and improve on throughout the season while allowing exercise physiologists to monitor and plan my program.”

    Jardine notes, "The CSI Calgary recognized Emily's potential right away and we have been working with her since she started her triathlon career to build up her structural tolerance for training. Many good female triathletes are prone to overtraining injuries and fail to sustain their performances. We put in place a long term program for Emily designed to help her make the transition from Junior athlete to Olympian by making her a more resilient athlete."

    Funding provided by B2Ten helped to support the CSI Calgary Talent Lab Project in 2015. Thanks in part to their support, up and coming athletes such as Wagner have had access to strength training and physiology support, as well as medical and paramedical services through the Talent Lab. For Wagner, meeting with Registered Dietitian Kelly Drager about questions or concerns regarding her diet, working on strength training with coach Anna Aylwin, and paramedical treatment with Shayne Hutchins have been crucial.

    Wagner says, “The services provided from the CSI Calgary have allowed me to grow and develop as an athlete.” Moving forward, Wagner is looking to improve on her eighth place result from last year’s Junior World Championship by finishing in the top five in Cozumel, Mexico. Next season, she will advance to the Elite category and begin training for the 2020 Olympic Games.

    For more information on the Talent Lab Project, please contact Paula Jardine at

    Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
    Rédigé par Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
    Photo de Dave Holland: @CSICalgaryPhoto

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