The real heroes of the game: 2010 RBC local hockey leaders announced

Unsung hockey volunteers to be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame

TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - RBC Insurance, with support from Hockey Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame, today recognized Canada's most dedicated behind-the-scenes hockey volunteers as part of the annual RBC Local Hockey Leaders(R) program. This year's 14 winners - one representing each Hockey Canada branch and an RBC employee winner - hail from Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories to Durrell, Newfoundland & Labrador.

"We're proud to celebrate these exceptional individuals who generously give their time to enrich our nation's game in communities from coast-to-coast," said Neil Skelding, president and CEO of RBC Insurance. "Hockey means so much to Canada and this is our opportunity to say thank you to those who make it happen."

The 2010 RBC Local Hockey Leaders receive $10,000 towards a registered hockey cause in their community and a signed Team Canada jersey. The winners will also be flown to Toronto for a special ceremony on June 16, where their efforts will be recognized in a permanent display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, each winner will be celebrated in their hometown, as a banner recognizing their achievement will be raised in their local arena.

    
    2010 Regional RBC Local Hockey Leaders:

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    Hockey Canada Branch        RBC Local Hockey Leader         Community
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    Hockey North                   Owen Rowe                Fort Simpson, NT
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    BC Hockey                      Helga Steenhof               Smithers, BC
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    Hockey Alberta                 Wanda Schuba                 Edmonton, AB
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    Saskatchewan Hockey
     Association                   Bob Fawcett                 Saskatoon, SK
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    Hockey Manitoba                Mary Ellen Clark              Neepawa, MB
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    Ontario Hockey
     Federation                    Steve Sanderson           Plattsville, ON
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    Hockey Northwestern Ontario    Doug Novak                     Kenora, ON
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    Ottawa District Hockey
     Association                   Gord Powell                   Almonte, ON
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    Hockey Quebec                  Peter Jacobs                Kahnawake, QC
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    Hockey New Brunswick           Marc Dube                    St-Andre, NB
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    Hockey Nova Scotia             Steve Clayton              Bridgetown, NS
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    Hockey PEI                   Joanne Wallace                 O'Leary, PEI
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    Hockey Newfoundland &
     Labrador                      Craig Clarke                  Durrell, NL
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    RBC's Own Local Hockey
     Leader                        Donna Taylor                    Craik, SK
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Full bios on the winners can be found at www.rbclocalhockeyleaders.com

A panel including Neil Skelding, Olympic gold medalist Cheryl Pounder, National Men's Sledge Hockey Team captain Jean Labonté, hockey legend Ron Ellis, Hockey Canada chairman of the board Ken Corbett and other Hockey Canada officials selected winners from hundreds of nominations submitted through the program website.

The RBC Local Hockey Leaders contest inspired hundreds of nominations from cities and towns from all corners of the country. Hard work, dependability, impact and leadership were among the criteria considered during the evaluation of submissions.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of Canadian hockey - without them there would be no game, no place for children to live their dreams, and RBC Insurance deserves a big thank you for their support of these volunteers," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "The RBC Local Hockey Leaders program has recognized more than 100 tremendous hockey volunteers, giving more than 100 communities the opportunity to better their hockey environments."

Over the past seven years, RBC Insurance has awarded more than $700,000 to grassroots hockey initiatives across Canada through the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program. Grants from the 2009 RBC Local Hockey Leaders program went towards a new score clock in Moosomin, SK; new goalie equipment in Grand Falls-Windsor, NL; subsidizing travel expenses for a special needs ice hockey tournament in St. Catharines, ON and many other worthy initiatives.

For more information and biographies on all of the RBC Local Hockey Leaders, please visit www.rbclocalhockeyleaders.com.

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance provides a wide range of life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products as well as creditor and business insurance services to more than five million clients in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. These products and services are offered through a wide variety of distribution channels, including the telephone, retail insurance branches, independent brokers, travel agents, a proprietary sales force and the Internet. More information is available at www.rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC

For further information: For further information: Katie Hammill, khammill@gotoguys.net, (416) 603-9452; Margie McNeil, RBC Insurance, margie.mcneil@rbc.com, (905) 606-1425; Kelly Masse, Hockey Hall of Fame, kmasse@hhof.com, (416) 933-8212; Andre Brin, Hockey Canada Communications, abrin@hockeycanada.ca, (403) 777-4557


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