CIBC announces national program in support of the next generation of young Canadian athletes

Kara Lang, Mary Spencer and Simon Whitfield kick off the launch of CIBC Team Next, a national program which provides funding and mentorship to 67 young athletes who aspire to represent Canada on the world stage. Other mentors include world-class athletes Bruny Surin, Josh Cassidy, and Mark de Yonge. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)

CIBC Team Next to invest $2 million to help young athletes reach their full potential with high-profile mentors, financial support and life coaching

TORONTO, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) is proud to announce the CIBC Team Next program - a $2 million investment to assist 67 young athletes who aspire to realize their dreams and represent Canada on the world stage.

In addition to providing amateur athletes with financial support, the program will provide invaluable opportunities to develop important career and life skills, along with mentorship from world class Canadian athletes, including Simon Whitfield, Bruny Surin, Kara Lang, Josh Cassidy, Mary Spencer and Mark de Jonge.

"As Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we are proud to help create a lasting sport legacy in Canada through CIBC Team Next," said Richard Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer, CIBC. "We know that Canada's young athletes, and their families, make many sacrifices to develop their athletic talents. We are proud to provide support as they balance their sports commitments with their education and career goals."

"I am excited to be a mentor and share my experiences with these young athletes," said Simon Whitfield, Pan Am, World Cup and Olympic champion and CIBC Team Next mentor. "What I love about the program is that it not only helps athletes fund the training camps, international competitions and equipment that are a big part of their relentless pursuit of excellence, but also provides them with valuable life skills that will serve them well in their athletic career and beyond. I wish I had access to a program like this when I was starting out."

Each of the 67 athletes selected will receive:

  • A $5,000 annual grant for the next three years ($15,000 total)
  • Mentorship from prominent Canadian athletes: Simon Whitfield, Kara Lang, Josh Cassidy, Mary Spencer, Mark de Jonge and Bruny Surin
  • Workshops and advice on personal finances, post-secondary and career planning, social media training and public speaking
  • Exclusive access to the CIBC Team Next idea sharing forum
  • Community support and networking opportunities through the local CIBC branches and employees in their home community
  • Preferred CIBC products and services

"I am thrilled to see CIBC's sponsorship of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games extended to support the development of Canada's up and coming young athletes," said the Hon. Bal Gosal, MP, Minister of State (Sport). "I applaud the establishment of CIBC Team Next as a robust program that will invest in 67 young and talented Canadian athletes with both financial support as well as fundamental life skills and advice that will help them in all their future endeavours."

To be considered for CIBC Team Next, athletes must be nominated by their respective sport organizations. The program is being administered for CIBC by AthletesCAN and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, who will also manage the final selection process. For more information on the program and how to apply, please visit facebook.com/cibc.

"TO2015 is excited to support CIBC Team Next as part of the legacy of the Games," said Ian Troop, CEO of TO2015. "By investing in the athletic success of 67 young Canadians, CIBC's program will have a lasting impact not just on the athletes, but on the sport community as a whole."

"AthletesCAN is pleased to partner with CIBC to deliver the CIBC Team Next program," said Jasmine Northcott, Executive Director, AthletesCAN.  "This is a tangible investment in athletes early in their competitive careers, when traditionally resources have been scarcest, and provides a platform for communities across Canada to get behind our athletes as we cheer them on in 2015 and beyond."

CIBC's investment of $2 million in the program is in addition to $2 million legacy investments already committed in support of Canada's youth related to the Pan/Parapan Am Games, including sport-related CIBC Youthvision scholarships, and programs for Aboriginal youth.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

Image with caption: "Kara Lang, Mary Spencer and Simon Whitfield kick off the launch of CIBC Team Next, a national program which provides funding and mentorship to 67 young athletes who aspire to represent Canada on the world stage. Other mentors include world-class athletes Bruny Surin, Josh Cassidy, and Mark de Yonge. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130709_C6009_PHOTO_EN_28900.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

For further information:

Media contact: Kevin Dove, Head of External Communications, CIBC, kevin.dove@cibc.com/416-304-5567.