Developing our athletes

Review of Sport Canada's Targeted Excellence Approach and Canadian High Performance Sport Strategy

In 2016-2017, after ten years of utilizing a targeted approach, the Government of Canada decided to conduct a Review of Sport Canada’s Targeted Enhanced Excellence  approach to funding podium potential sports in Canada.

In order to address issues raised by the Targeted Enhanced Excellence Review, amongst other actions, Sport Canada has opted to collaboratively develop a Canadian High Performance Sport Strategy . In June 2017, Sport Canada started the process of consultations with high performance sport stakeholders. The purpose of the Canadian High Performance Sport Strategy is to articulate a desired state for the designated strategic areas of focus and their respective outcomes. After publishing the strategy in May 2019, Sport Canada has committed to continue the consultation process with the Canadian sport community to develop an action plan, identify roles and responsibilities and start implementing key priorities. 

While Canada's high performance athletes strive for the podium at every opportunity, their world-class performances instill a sense of pride in our country and the maple leaf from coast to coast to coast. Their example inspires Canadians, especially our young people, to reach for their own goals.

Canada's pool of talented athletes has expanded significantly year after year, and Canadian athletes and teams are achieving world-class results. Who can forget Canada's record-breaking gold-medal haul at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics—where Canada's Olympic winter athletes won more gold medals than any other country in the history of the Winter Games? And we cannot be more proud of our Paralympic athletes who also outdid themselves in Vancouver, placing third in the gold-medal count at the first Paralympic Winter Games to be held in Canada, owning the podium like we never have before.

Sport Canada is committed to the development of our high performance athletes through:

  • The Athlete Assistance Program: Sport Canada contributes to the pursuit of sport excellence by financially supporting high-performance amateur athletes in Canada.
  • Ethics in Sport: Sport Canada is engaged in many activities to advance and support ethical sport in Canada and abroad.
  • High-performance support: Through partnerships, Sport Canada provides support to sport organizations to improve athlete performance and rankings at sporting events.
  • Coaching Support: In partnership with the Coaching Association of Canada, Sport Canada promotes the profession of coaching and coach training.

Long term development

Long-Term Development (LTD) provides a general framework of athlete development. LTD describes a series of sequential stages for learning, training and competition, based on the maturation or development of an individual rather than chronological age. The LTD framework recognizes the distinct phases of physical, mental, cognitive and emotional development of individuals, including those with a disability, and provides guidance for the design and delivery of quality sport programs and services.

The publication Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity (PDF Format) outlines the standard LTD framework, together with No Accidental Champions which includes considerations for persons with a disability.

Federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Sport endorsed the Canadian Sport for Life concept in 2004 and are working towards implementing the principles of LTD within their jurisdictions. Sport Canada has embedded LTD in the Sport Development Framework and in its policies and programs.

There is a standard LTD framework that forms the basis for sport-specific models developed by National Sport Organizations. This has been supplemented with additional information for athletes with a disability.

For more information on sport-specific models for both able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability, contact the appropriate National Sport Organization as they have developed their own sport-specific LTD frameworks.

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