Pauw Foundation Profile: True Sport Principles in Action At Rundle Mountain Cycling Club
Bow Valley racers cycling to greatness, on and off the bike
Go For It! Play Fair. Respect Others. Keep it Fun. Stay Healthy. Give Back. Include Everyone. These are the True Sport Principles – seven key concepts which amplify the benefits of sport through mutual empowerment and shared values.
Championed by the True Sport Foundation, these principles support one core philosophy: that good sport can make a great difference.
On the winner’s podium and beyond, Canmore Olympian Brittany Webster says the True Sport Principles are also the recipe for a good life. Brittany represented Canada amongst the world’s best cross country skiers at the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2013. And while she has enjoyed her fair share of success in the sporting world, she knows that it’s a strong sense of character that shapes a great sportsperson.
“One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is that when you’re an athlete, your job is to inspire other people. Whether you win or lose, you’re a role model. When you approach sport with this mindset, it shifts your perspective from self-absorption towards empowering others.”
Today, Brittany channels her Olympic-level experience in fitness training into a new passion: coaching the rising stars of the Bow Valley’s first high-performance youth cycling team. As RMCC-R Express Race Team Coach at Rundle Mountain Cycling Club, she says the True Sport Principles are ongoing life lessons – and that’s what sport is really about.
“Things won’t always go according to plan, and you won’t always place first. You need to know how to persevere when times are tough, how to be gracious when you’re at the top, and how to be at your best all the times in between,” Brittany says.
And she’s a shining example of these concepts in action. Through her coaching, Brittany has empowered the RMCC-R Express Race Team to hold themselves – and each other – accountable to the seven principles. Below, she shares her insights on how the team lives each one.
True Sport Principles in Action: Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk, Peddling the Peddle
Go For It!: “We created a vision for a full-time race team, embraced the challenge, and launched in 2017. We’re really proud to be the first-ever cycling race team offered in the Bow Valley. It’s been a fun dynamic for me to watch the team change from kids to athletes.”
Play Fair: “We educated our riders on the importance of supporting their teammates, as well as riders in other programs, clubs, and teams across the country. We did this by exposing our team to different athletes from other programs at our Club, and from other clubs around Alberta, welcoming them to join our training camps. It’s been great to see them embrace others from outside their team – becoming friends, not just competitors.”
Respect Others: “We encouraged our athletes to congratulate and support each other after every race, emphasising the importance of honourable finish-line behavior, and being a good role model, both on and off the bike. Time and time again, they demonstrated acts of respect throughout the season. As a coach, I was very impressed!”
Keep it Fun: “We focus on fun at every camp, training session and race project. Some recent highlights were travelling in an RV all the way to Moab to go camping together, playing mini golf and touring around Tremblant during races, and going downhill riding and having smoothie making competitions in Panorama.”
Stay Healthy: “Leading a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle is what our team does every day. Cycling can be a demanding sport, requiring riders to be light and fit, which can be especially challenging for females. To support the team, we hired sports nutritionists and psychologists to encourage a healthy outlook on training, nutrition and body image.”
Give Back: “We reached out to other programs in the club, inviting Youth and Masters riders to participate in training sessions with our team. We promoted and supported local shops and businesses in the Bow Valley through social media, spin classes, education sessions, strength training and equipment needs. Our riders coached Youth Revolution riders and encouraged the younger generation to try new skills. We also volunteered many hours for trail building, cycling awareness, local races and bike swaps.”
Include Everyone: “We welcomed riders outside our program to participate in our camps, training sessions and race projects with our team – forging some amazing friendships and connections along the way. We see sport as a big picture idea – as a community, as a province and as a nation we’re all trying to get better.”
Brittany says developing strong character traits through these good habits not only helps the team stay on top of their training, but also paves the way for a balanced life, in all they do.
“They are really going for it, living the principles day in and day out. As a coach, my job is to remind them of that every day – and I couldn’t be prouder of what they’re achieving.”
In 2018, the team are gearing up for a busy racing season, with five competitions coming up between May and September – and with Brittany and the True Sport Principles leading the way, we’re sure they’ll be racing towards success.
The Pauw Foundation, in partnership with the True Sport Foundation, is proud to support Rundle Mountain Cycling Club through its Youth Sport Fund – promoting a vibrant and active Bow Valley community through funding grants for local sporting clubs and athletes.
Learn more about the Pauw Foundation’s Youth Sport Fund here: https://pauwfoundation.com/youth-sport-fund/. To learn more about the True Sport Foundation and the True Sport Principles, read here: http://truesportpur.ca/aboutus