Unique funding/mentorship program supports aspiring athletes and
inspires youth participation in sports
TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM:NYSE) is proud to announce the members of CIBC Team Next,
a group of 67 amateur athletes from across Canada, aspiring to
represent our nation on the world stage.
The athletes were unveiled today in a special ceremony in Toronto after a two-day
orientation camp during which they received financial literacy, media,
sport leadership and life skills training. They also had unprecedented
access to current and former Canadian elite-level athlete mentors.
Representing the future of sport in Canada, the athletes come from small
towns and big cities from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and the
Northwest Territories, reflecting our nation's vast geography and
cultural diversity. Ranging in age from 15 to 52, CIBC Team Next
includes 16 para-athletes, as well as two athletes of Aboriginal
descent. The program represents each of the 51 sports and disciplines
in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games—from boccia, cycling and
para-archery to ten-pin bowling, swimming and wheelchair basketball.
"We look forward to cheering on these athletes every step of the way as
they train to represent Canada on the world stage," said Richard
Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer, CIBC. "As Lead Partner of the TORONTO
2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we designed the CIBC Team Next program to
create a lasting sports legacy in Canada. We want to equip our next
generation of athletes with the kind of support they need to reach
their goals in sport and in life."
CIBC is passionate about celebrating and supporting the dedication and
sacrifice it takes to become a high performance athlete—long before a
medal is ever awarded. This select group of CIBC Team Next athletes
will help motivate Canada's children and youth to participate in sport,
while inspiring all Canadians with their experiences as they strive for
The CIBC Team Next program is a $2-million investment to assist 67 high
performance athletes realize their dreams of representing Canada. Over
the next three years, each athlete will receive $15,000 in funding plus
invaluable opportunities to develop important career and life skills
under the mentorship of eight world-class Canadian athletes: Josh
Cassidy, Mark de Jonge, Stephanie Dixon, Kara Lang, Kyle Shewfelt, Mary
Spencer, Bruny Surin and Simon Whitfield. The program was first
announced in July.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Samantha Sendel, 22, of
Aurora, ON, who won the Canadian individual trampoline championship in
May. "It will help me with training and competition costs, which add up
very quickly. And, just as important, it will help me develop life
skills that I can leverage now and in the future."
"I feel privileged to have been selected to CIBC Team Next and I am
excited to share my journey with the 66 other athletes and all
Canadians from coast to coast to coast," said David Letourneau, 24, of
Calgary, AB, who qualified for the Canadian men's national squash team
The CIBC Team Next program also provides:
Annual workshops and advice on personal finances, post-secondary and
career planning, sport leadership skills, media training and public
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; and,
Preferred CIBC products and services.
"CIBC Team Next is a fantastic investment in the future of amateur
athletics in Canada," said the Honorable Bal Gosal, Minister of State
(Sport). "I applaud CIBC for having the vision to create such a
comprehensive program that supports up-and-coming athletes not only
with funding, but also with important leadership and life skills that
will help them succeed on and off the field. Our Government recognizes
that corporate sponsorship of the Games is important in ensuring the
success of the athletes and the Games, leaving a lasting legacy."
"The CIBC Team Next program is a great opportunity to encourage, educate
and empower our athletes, who will represent our province and our
nation in the international arena and inspire the next generation to
participate and succeed in sport," said Michael Chan, Minister
Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games.
CIBC in partnership with AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's
national team athletes, and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
selected the CIBC Team Next roster based on their potential on and off
the field of play. To be considered, the athletes had to be nominated
by their national sport organizations.
The program is being administered for CIBC by AthletesCAN and the
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. For more information on the program,
please visit facebook.com/cibc.
The CIBC Team Next program is in addition to $2 million legacy
investments CIBC has already committed in support of Canada's youth
related to the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, including sport-related CIBC
Youthvision scholarships, and programs for Aboriginal youth.
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11
million personal banking and business clients. As the Lead Partner of
the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and a Premier Partner of the
Canadian Paralympic Committee, CIBC is committed to enriching Canadian
communities through the power of sport. We support causes that matter
to our clients, our employees and our communities and aim to make a
difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and
the volunteer spirit of employees. In 2012, CIBC contributed more than
$38 million to over 1,900 charitable and non-profit initiatives in 450
communities. 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: "CIBC Team Next mentor and multiple Paralympic gold-medalist Stephanie Dixon with CIBC Team Next athlete Jean-Michel Lavallière speaking to Tai Young, Easter Seals of Ontario Ambassador at the official launch of the CIBC Team Next program. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131118_C8364_PHOTO_EN_33463.jpg
Image with caption: "CIBC Team Next athletes being introduced, Karen Van Nest followed by Pascal Plamondon and CIBC Team Next mentor and Olympic medalist and sprint kayaker Mark de Jonge (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131118_C8364_PHOTO_EN_33465.jpg
Image with caption: "CIBC Chief Operating Officer Richard Nesbitt with the CIBC Team Next athletes (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131118_C8364_PHOTO_EN_33469.jpg
Image with caption: "67 amateur athletes named to CIBC Team Next - will receive funding and life skills support from CIBC and mentoring from current and former world-class Canadian athletes (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131118_C8364_PHOTO_EN_33467.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
For further information:
Media contact: Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, 416-784-6699, or firstname.lastname@example.org.