As the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay kicks-off, poll finds ninety per cent of Ontarians believe sport plays an important role in bringing communities together

As the Pan Am Games get closer, excitement spreads across Ontario

TORONTO, May 29, 2015 /CNW/ -  A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll finds that the majority of Ontarians (88 per cent) believe sport plays an important role in bringing communities together, and nearly half say that they are likely to be among the millions of Ontarians to participate in this summer's TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay.

The poll also finds that the main reason Ontarians are looking forward to the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games is the excitement of having the Games on home soil, a sentiment that is equally shared beyond the Greater Golden Horseshoe area, where the Games will be taking place.

"Sport has always been integral to the fabric and strength of our communities, whether it is through participation or collectively cheering on and celebrating great moments," says Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President, CIBC, Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. "Millions of Ontarians will now have the opportunity to experience first-hand, the energy and excitement of the largest multi-sport event to ever be held in this country.

Key poll findings:

  • 52 per cent of Ontarians between the age of 18-34 say they are likely to participate in torch relay celebrations in their community
    • Women are almost ten per cent more likely to do so than men
  • 44 per cent of respondents in the GTA, the most populous region in Ontario, said they would likely participate in torch relay celebrations

  • After Toronto residents at 49 per cent, people in Northern Ontario place second when it comes to the excitement of being involved in the torch relay, with 47 per cent likely to participate in torch relay celebrations

  • The main reasons Ontarians are looking forward to the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games:
    • More than a third (35 per cent) point to the excitement of having the Games on home soil
    • A quarter (25 per cent) want the opportunity to see world-class competition
    • 24 per cent are looking forward to showcasing Canada on the international stage

When it comes to getting active in sport, 69 per cent of Ontarians believe that participating in organized sport is very important or extremely important to the overall well-being and development of children age three to 17. A study earlier this year from CIBC highlighted that almost 40 per cent of Ontarians say major sporting events, like the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, inspire them to get involved in sport or their children involved in sport.

"Access, exposure and visibility to sport in my community, and to everything that sport has to offer, was a critical factor in my development when I was a kid," said Josh Cassidy, CIBC Team Next mentor and 2015 Pan Am torchbearer. "These Games are going to have a life-long effect on tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of our youth in Toronto and Canada. And it all begins with the torch relay."

CIBC is proud to be Community Partner of the torch relay, helping to welcome the Pan Am flame to more than 130 communities, including stops and activations at more than 50 of our branches. CIBC clients, employees and community partners will be among the 3,000 torchbearers.

From May 19th to 21st, 2015 an online survey was conducted among 802 randomly selected adult Ontario residents who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.4%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC on our corporate website at www.cibc.com/ca/media-centre/.

About CIBC's Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Sponsorship

As the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, CIBC is committed to enriching Canadian communities through the power of sport. Through our investments we will create a lasting legacy by funding next-generation athletes, encouraging the volunteer spirit of our employees, helping finance landmark venues and engaging our diverse communities while fusing sport with arts and culture. To learn more visit www.cibc.com/ca/features/panamgames.html.

#PanAmazing

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

For further information:

Kevin Dove, Head of External Communications, 416-980-8835, kevin.dove@cibc.ca.


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