HSBC partnership with Rugby Canada to expand grassroots programs across Canada

**Rugby Canada's Rookie Rugby program to grow four-fold by 2020 thanks in-part to new program partner, HSBC **

VANCOUVER, March 8, 2017 /CNW/ - As momentum builds for the 2017 HSBC Canada Vancouver Sevens happening March 11 and 12 in Vancouver, leading international bank HSBC will become Rugby Canada's official financial services partner, deepening its commitment to Rugby in Canada.  A global sponsor of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 2010, HSBC's latest commitment will help Rugby Canada deliver a range of new and expanded programs across Canada over the next three years (2017-2020).

"Rugby resonates with HSBC's values and global operational footprint: it is growing in popularity in markets where we as a bank are growing, and its values of courage, respect, and teamwork align well with our own organizational values," said Sandra Stuart, President & CEO, HSBC Bank Canada. "Central to HSBC's vision for rugby sevens is a dedication to grassroots growth, and so we are very excited to join forces with Rugby Canada to help grow the sport in communities across the country."

HSBC will also assume the title sponsorship for Rugby Canada's Rookie Rugby program, a national grassroots initiative that aims to build participation in the sport at all levels.

"The Rookie Rugby program has reached over 85,000 participants across Canada. With HSBC's support, the program is expected reach in excess of 375,000 participants over a 3 year period," said Allen Vansen, CEO of Rugby Canada. "HSBC's multi-year investment in the sport of rugby in Canada sends a powerful message to all of the players in our system, and to those who are considering trying the sport for the first time, that rugby is on the rise, and that we are committed to its growth at all levels."

Rookie Rugby is played in schools, parks, recreation leagues, and community organizations across the country. The rules are simple, the game is easy to learn, and minimal equipment is required. Details on the program can be found at rookierugby.ca.

Growth of rugby in Canada and around the world
HSBC's 2016 Future of Rugby Report predicted that the seven million current rugby players worldwide will likely reach 10 million by 2020 and 15 million within the decade, "with most coming into the game through sevens."

Added Vansen, "This recent growth has seen its breakthrough in the North American market. In 2016, the inaugural Vancouver leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series drew the largest rugby crowd in Canada's history and the province of B.C. saw an estimated $17.8 million in economic activity. The 2017 leg has already shattered this record in ticket sales and promises to attract a growing broadcast audience as well."

HSBC has been a long term supporter of rugby around the world, and has been the title sponsor of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 2010.  Already hugely popular in markets like Hong Kong and London, the newly expanded series is providing even greater opportunity for growth.  From grassroots to high performance, HSBC is committed to supporting game of Sevens on its journey, helping elite players achieve their goal of being the best in the world, and introducing young players to the game.

HSBC

HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in the country.  We help companies and individuals across Canada to do business and manage their finances internationally through three global business lines: Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Retail Banking and Wealth Management.  HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 4,000 offices in 70 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,375bn at 31 December 2016, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.  For more information visit www.hsbc.ca or follow us on Twitter @HSBC_CA or Facebook @HSBCCanada.

SOURCE HSBC Canada Sevens

For further information: Aurora Bonin, HSBC Bank Canada, Phone: 604.641.1905, Email: aurora.f.bonin@hsbc.ca; Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada, Phone: 250.216.5272, Email: bkelly@rugbycanada.ca

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HSBC Canada Sevens

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