RBC gives cricket a boost in Canada

    New elementary school program funds equipment and provides training

    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - More youth in Canada will be able to participate
in the sought-after game of cricket, thanks to the new RBC Wicket Cricket
program designed to help schools and communities easily introduce the sport to
their physical education programs.
    "RBC's investment in Canadian cricket is aimed at elevating awareness of
the sport on all levels with a view to reaching cricket-enthusiasts of all
generations," said Mark Whitmell, director, Cultural Markets. "We want to help
build this sport in Canada so that cricket fans can feel proud of their
association with it, and families from cricket-loving countries can pass on
this cherished tradition to their children. We feel that the best way to do
that is from the ground up, by helping schools and communities respond to kids
and their families who are passionate about the game."
    Geared to students from grades two to six, the RBC Wicket Cricket program
gives physical education teachers and community recreation leaders the means
to introduce kids to the basics of the game, while providing a fun and
exciting physical activity that develops interpersonal skills, enhances self
confidence and instills the value of fair play.
    "Our support of cricket in Canada is part of our ongoing efforts to build
deeper connections with people in ways that are relevant and which reinforce
our commitment to multicultural communities," Mr. Whitmell added.
    Even before today's launch, program advisors Melvin John, an avid cricket
supporter, and Tim Stone, an elementary school teacher in Scarborough, Ontario
- had engaged more than 100 schools in the Greater Toronto Area alone. Through
word of mouth alone, close to 400 schools from across the country have already
registered online for the program.
    "Many schools do not have the budget to make large investments in cricket
equipment or the resources to meet the demand for the game," said Mr. Stone.
"Through the RBC Wicket Cricket program, teachers will be able to easily
access the resources they need to confidently begin or continue to develop the
sport of cricket in their schools and communities."
    Interested school teachers, community recreation leaders and coaches can
obtain more information and register for the RBC Wicket Cricket program at
http://www.rbc.com/cricket. By registering, they will receive a free kit that
includes equipment such as youth-sized bats, balls and wickets, (while
quantities last) and a teacher's resource guide on DVD, outlining the rules of
the game and practice drills.
    Later in the spring, RBC will launch a new interactive cricket website
where students and teachers participating in the RBC Wicket Cricket program
can download training videos, watch cricket drills, and post related community
events and photos. It will also include more advanced coaching information and
tips for establishing a house league and tournament play.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Jackie Braden, RBC Media
Relations, (416) 974-2124

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