Thirteen regional RBC Local Hockey Leaders(R) to be recognized in the
Hockey Hall of Fame, awarded $10,000 and a team spot in the 2010 Olympic
TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - RBC Insurance, with support from Hockey Canada
and the Hockey Hall of Fame, today launched its annual nationwide search for
outstanding hockey volunteers.
"For the past six years the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program has
recognized unsung volunteers who dedicate their time to supporting minor
hockey in their communities," said Neil Skelding, president and CEO of RBC
Insurance. "We believe it's important to recognize these volunteers because
without them, hockey in our communities simply would not happen."
This program recognizes individuals like Russell Desjarlais, the 2008 RBC
Local Hockey Leader for Northwestern Ontario. Desjarlais is a multi-tasking
hockey volunteer in Kenora who puts countless hours on top of his regular job
into organizing volunteers, teaching, supporting and above all making sure
there is ice. He spends hours and hours in the morning, during lunch hours,
after work and on weekends to ensure that the children and adults can play
Regional winners, one from each of the 13 Hockey Canada branches as well
as one RBC employee winner, will receive $10,000 towards a registered
charity/hockey cause in their community, a signed Team Canada jersey and trip
for two to Toronto, where they will be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In addition, all of this year's winners will receive a Team Spot in the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, which will give them and up to 20
individuals the opportunity to collectively carry the Olympic Flame. This Team
Spot will enable the Local Hockey Leaders to recognize others who have come
together to help them make a difference to minor hockey in their communities.
"Through the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program, we're able to acknowledge
the efforts of these important Canadians, who are crucial to minor hockey in
Canada," said Bill Hay, chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. "RBC Insurance is
investing in Canadian communities through hockey, and we are happy to be a
part of this effort."
Over the past six years RBC Insurance has awarded more than $600,000 to
grassroots hockey activities across Canada through the RBC Local Hockey
Leaders program. Grants have been used to replace aging equipment, make hockey
more accessible, train coaches, improve facilities and for many other causes
close to the hearts of Canada's grassroots hockey leaders.
"We're asking all Canadians to nominate those tireless hockey volunteers
who help make hockey possible in their community," said Bob Nicholson,
president of Hockey Canada. "These leaders may maintain the rinks, coach
teams, organize fundraisers, or teach life skills - all things that make
hockey such an important part of community life in Canada."
A panel including National Women's Team member Jayna Hefford, National
Men's Sledge Hockey Team captain Jean Labonté, hockey legend Ron Ellis, Dave
Cobb, Executive Vice President, Revenue, Marketing and Communications, VANOC
and Dr. Allan Morris, chairman of the Board, Hockey Canada will select winners
from nominations submitted through the program website. Nominations will be
accepted until midnight (EDT) on April 17, 2009. To nominate a dedicated minor
hockey volunteer from your area, go to www.rbcinsurance.com.
RBC Local Hockey Leaders are the behind-the-scenes volunteers who make
hockey a positive, safe, and enjoyable activity in their communities. Hard
work, dedication, commitment and impact on the community will be amongst the
criteria considered when evaluating submissions.
For further information:
For further information: Katie Hammill or Brian Findlay, (416) 603-9452;
Andre Brin, Hockey Canada Communications, (403) 777-4557; Jackie Braden, Media
Relations, RBC, (416) 974-2124; Kelly Masse, Hockey Hall of Fame, (416)