Athlete Development

One of our primary initiatives is to become a hub for high performance athlete and coach development in Parasport. Our training programs and events are designed to develop, mentor and support Para-athletes and coaches, with a focus on developing the next generation of Para-athletes.

Athlete in Training Program

  • Geared towards individuals ages 12+; this program is for individuals who want to increase their training level to challenge themselves, improve performance in recreational sport or who have the goal of high-level competition.

  • Focus on strength and conditioning - looking at muscular strength and power as well as muscle development in a fun, educational group environment. Incorporates fitness assessments to gauge baseline skill level.

  • Athletes train in a group setting, but each receive an individualized program focusing on specific areas of strength and areas of improvement.

  • Sessions take place in The Steadward Centre fitness centre (Van Vliet Complex)

  • Tuesday and Thursday evenings (4:30 - 7:30 pm)

  • Sessions run for 12 weeks in the fall (September - December) and winter (January - April) terms, and 8 weeks in the spring (May - June).

Athlete Community Transition Program

  • Provides interested athletes with the resources and support to workout in a community facility of their choice.

Team Training

Team Training is designed for recreational and competitive para/disability sport teams.

Depending on the developmental level of athletes the following services are available for sport teams:

  • Conditioning programs: strength, endurance and flexibility development

  • Sport-specific conditioning: speed, agility and power development

  • Fitness testing

Team training programs are designed to suit the team's needs and are available in a variety of formats including:

  • Training camps

  • Develop programs with coaches that can be incorporated into practice

  • Workshops

High Performance Athlete Development

This program is designed for athletes competing in Parasport at a provincial, junior national or national level. Athletes in this program have been identified by their sport organization as an emerging athlete and train 2 - 3 times per week with a strength and conditioning coach in the High Performance Training and Research Centre (HPTRC) at the Saville Community Sports Centre. Training sessions focus on building muscular strength, power, endurance and flexibility specific to the demands of each sport and the unique abilities of each athlete. Training sessions run for 12 weeks in Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.


The Steadward Bears Para-athletics program engages individuals with impairments within the different components of athletics, including: wheeling, running, jumping, and throwing. Events range from wheelchair racing and seated throws, to sprinting, endurance running, and long jump. Athletes can choose to focus on one event area or develop skills across multiple events. With the support of qualified coaches and Adapted Physical Activity Consultants, athletes are provided individualized program plans that focus on event specific skills for athletes ages ten and up. The Steadward Bears supports athletes who are new to the sport of athletics as well as individuals with aspirations to compete at provincial and national levels. The Steadward Bears Para-athletics team is inclusive of all individuals living with impairments interested in developing skills in track and or/ field events. Integrated competitive opportunities are available for those interested. Sessions run for 10 weeks during the spring and summer months (May - July) and 10 weeks during both the fall and winter months (September - December; January- April).


The Steadward Bears Para-swim program engages individuals living with impairment to develop competitive swimming skills. With the support of qualified coaches and Adapted Physical Activity Consultants, and with the support of Olympian Swim Club and U of A varsity swim team volunteers, this program will develop individualized programs that focus on stroke specific skills for athletes ages 12 and up. Integrated competitive opportunities will be available but are not mandatory. Sessions run for 12 weeks in the fall (September - December) and winter (January - April) terms, and 8 weeks in the spring (May - June).



For more information about Athlete Development, please contact:

Jessica Ferguson


Phone: 780-248-1981