Lethbridge - Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest (ASDC SW) was established in 2008 with the vision to provide emerging athletes with the same high-performance training found in larger centres. While ASDC SW provides many programs and sports science services, the premiere program, and the go-to program for athletes in the region, has been the Athlete Enhancement Program (AEP).
AEP is the athlete support program aimed to provide high-quality sport science support to athletes between the ages of 12 and 18. The AEP is intended to provide athletes from all sports non-technical support to improve performance, enjoyment of sport, and life skills. Athletes can stay close to home and receive the same support that professional and Olympic athletes receive. ASDC SW has partnered with the University of Lethbridge High Performance Centre to provide athletes with intensive 10-week strength and conditioning training blocks. Training at the High Performance Centre teaches athletes the importance of safe weight training and movement skills. Athletes will be able to track their development with performance testing at the beginning, middle and end of the 10-week block. Throughout the year athletes take part in Winning Edge Seminars delivered by the ASDC SW Athlete Enhancement Team. Winning Edge seminars focus on the science side of sport and help athletes performance through sports psychology, nutrition, injury prevention and more. It’s a holistic and all-encompassing program that has supported athletes of all abilities and experiences.
Since 2008 over 400 athletes have taken part in the AEP. Notable alumni include; Rachel Nicol (2016 Olympic swimmer), Kaleb Muller (World Junior Team Canada speed skater), Kaelan Freund (NCAA Division 1 Penn State swimmer) and Jessie Scheidegger (2017 Alberta Scotties champion curler). The list of alumni is strong and we are proud to of worked with some many athletes from Lethbridge and the region.
Starting in the fall of 2018 AEP will be open to all emerging athletes, teams, and coaches. What is considered an “emerging” athlete? ASDC SW follows the world-renown Canadian Sport for Life Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model. The AEP focusses on supporting athletes in the Train to Train (12-15yrs) and Train to Compete (16-23yrs) stages. Athletes who fall in the Train to Win (18+yrs) stage may be eligible for the program, contact the ASDC SW office for details. Athletes entering the AEP for the first time will take part in the Base program where they will train with other first-year athletes. Base athletes will experience performance testing and learn the foundations of strength training under the safety and supervision of qualified strength coaches. After participating in the Base program, athletes can continue training the following year and enter the Selects program. The Selects program is for second and third-year AEP athletes to continue to develop their athletic ability.
The new and improved AEP gets going this fall. Visit asdcsw.ca and follow ASDC SW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest on AEP news and information on upcoming prep programs and sports science services.
(Article Published in the Lethbridge Herald - July 6)