Row for Canada

Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) operates two National Training Centres (NTCs) where our senior National Team athletes train year round. Coaches, support staff and administrative staff for RCA are based at the two NTCs. The NTCs are where the Senior World Championship teams and the Olympic and Paralympic teams are based. The Victoria, BC Training Centre (VTC) hosts the open men's program. The London, ON Training Centre (LTC) hosts the open women, lightweight women, and lightweight men's programs. 

Entry to train at one of the NTCs is by invitation only. The invitation to train at the NTCs is based on performance standards that an athlete must achieve prior to being invited.

Pathways to the Senior National Team

There are several pathways for athletes to the Senior National Team. The Senior National Team represents Canada at the annual FISA Senior World Rowing Championships and at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Clubs/High School/University: There are more than 115 clubs in Canada offering rowing programs. Many offer programs for high school-age children and younger. They may also offer programs for university-age students and masters. The club programs are the backbone of rowing in Canada, providing a variety of structured programs from Learn to Row to competitive programs. Click here to find a club near you

Row to Podium: Are you a talented athlete interested in rowing? RCA's Row to Podium program may be for you. The Row to Podium Program is RCA's official Talent Identification and Development Program. The goal of this program is to find and develop new rowers who, through a series of assessments, demonstrate they have the potential to become Olympic and Paralympic champions. The Row to Podium program is delivered through a network of Talent ID coaches and Talent Development Centres strategically located across the country. For information on our high performance development program, please contact Chuck McDiarmid

National Development Centres: The National Development Centres are designed to help athletes in their final preparation toward the National Training Centres. The NDCs are where the best development athletes train prior to being invited to the NTCs. RCA operates two NDCs - in Welland, ON, and Burnaby, BC -  which are open to both men and women. Access is by invitation-only by RCA's National Development Centre coaches.

National Teams: There are many opportunities to represent Canada during an athlete's development. Athletes from any of the pathways listed above have the opportunity to represent Canada at the Junior level (under 19 years of age), Under-23 level and Senior level. At each level, there are several events where athletes can represent RCA.

  • CanAmMex Regatta
  • Junior World Rowing Championships
  • Under-23 World Rowing Championships
  • World University Championships
  • Pan American Games
  • World Rowing Cup series
  • World Rowing Championships
  • Olympic and Paralympic Games

Information on the selection process for these programs can be found here.

Athletes representing Canada at Senior World Cups, World Rowing Championships and the Olympic and Paralympic Games are selected from those athletes training full-time at one of the NTCs.

Information on how to be invited to train at a NTC.

RCA High Performance Programs

Canadian rowing has a proud history of producing Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship medallists. It is one of Canada’s most successful summer Olympic sports and has a winning tradition dating back more than 100 years. 

Senior: Senior athletes are those at the highest level with the ultimate goal of making the Canadian Olympic team. The top senior athletes compete annually at the FISA World Rowing Championships and the Olympic Games, held every four years. Canada’s senior athletes train at one of our two NTCs –  the men in Victoria, BC and the women and lightweight-class rowers in London, ON.

Para-Rowing: RCA recruits athletes and manages the Para-Rowing teams that compete at the highest level – the World Championships and the Paralympic Games. At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the LTA4+ of Curtis Halladay, Kristen Kit, Meghan Montgomery, Victoria Nolan and Andrew Todd won Canada's first Para-Rowing medal, a bronze. For more information on this program, contact John Wetzstein.

Under-23: This program is made up of athletes 22 years old or younger as of the year they are competing. The Under-23 team is a critical program for rowers wanting to become members of the Senior team and ultimately Olympic or Paralympic team members. An Under-23 team is selected annually to compete at the FISA Under-23 World Rowing Championships.

Under-23 rowers compete at the various trials held throughout the racing year. The top U23 rowers are identified, ranked and selected on the basis of results of the trials and other performance markers (eg. Strength, power, ergometer results, etc) tested through out the year. Many U23 rowers are nurtured and developed at university and/or rowing clubs throughout the country.

Under-23 rowers need to be proficient in all boat classes – sculling and sweep – as these are critical components of succession to the Senior program. 

Junior: This program is for rowers who are 18 years old or younger for the entire year they are competing. RCA sends a team annually to the FISA Junior World Rowing Championships selected from the top Junior rowers in the country. Junior rowers have opportunities to race in all boats classes, both sweep and sculling, from singles to eights.

There are also a number of other Junior events supported by RCA such as the Can Am Mex Regatta, the National Rowing Championships and the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Championship that provide excellent competitive opportunities for Junior athletes

Row to Podium: Row to Podium is Canada’s official Talent Identification and Development Program for rowing. Its goal is to develop new athletes into future Olympic and Paralympic champions. Row to Podium was designed specifically to find tall, young and fit athletes with no experience in rowing.

For more information go to or contact Chuck McDiarmid