Unsung heroes of the game: 2009 RBC Local Hockey Leaders announced

    Dedicated hockey volunteers to be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame,
    awarded with $10,000 in funding and a team spot in the Vancouver 2010
    Olympic Torch Relay

    TORONTO, May 11 /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 program. This year's 13 winners hail from Delta, BC to Mount Pearl,
    "This is a chance to celebrate the unsung hockey volunteers who are the
lifeblood of hockey in this country," said Neil Skelding, president and CEO
RBC Insurance. "This year, for the first time ever, we are rewarding these
Canadians with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame
along with members of their local hockey community."
    The 2009 RBC Local Hockey Leaders will receive a Team Spot in the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. This Team Spot will give each winner and
their team of up to 20 individuals the opportunity to collectively carry the
Olympic Flame for one kilometre, enabling the Local Hockey Leaders to
recognize others who have come together to help them make a difference in
minor hockey in their communities. Winners will also be celebrated in their
hometowns as a banner recognizing their achievement will be raised in their
local arena.
    Each winner will also receive $10,000 towards a registered charity/hockey
cause in their community and a signed Team Canada jersey. The winners - one
from each Hockey Canada branch - will also be recognized in a permanent
display at the Hockey Hall of Fame which will be unveiled June 16 during a
special ceremony honouring the 2009 RBC Local Hockey Leaders.

    2009 Regional RBC Local Hockey Leaders:

    Region                     RBC Local Hockey Leader     Community
    Hockey North               Dolphus Nitsiza             Behchoko, NWT
    British Columbia           Theresa Watts               Delta, BC
    Alberta                    Nick Ruigrok                Okotoks, AB
    Saskatchewan               Mike Schwean                Moosomin, SK
    Manitoba                   Darren Zembik               St. Andrew's, MB
    Ontario                    Rick Jones                  St. Catharines, ON
    Northwestern Ontario       Cosimo Figliomeni Filane    Schreiber, ON
    Ottawa District            Louise Groulx               Orleans, ON
    Quebec                     Andrée Leblanc              Daveluyville, QC
    New Brunswick              Mark Toner                  Grand Falls, NB
    Nova Scotia                Keith Miller                Lantz, NS
    Prince Edward Island       Bill Butler                 Stratford, PEI
    Newfoundland & Labrador    Gary Martin                 Mount Pearl, NFLD

    A panel including Neil Skelding, National Women's Team member Jayna
Hefford, National Men's Sledge Hockey Team captain Jean Labonté, hockey legend
Ron Ellis, VANOC executive vice president, revenue, marketing and
communications Dave Cobb, Hockey Canada acting chair 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 coast to coast. Hard work, dependability,
enthusiasm and leadership were among the criteria considered during the
evaluation of submissions.
    "Every Canadian community has individuals that dedicate years of tireless
service to keep hockey vibrant in their communities, and RBC deserves a big
thank you for their support of these volunteers," said Bob Nicholson,
president, Hockey Canada. "More than 100 outstanding hockey volunteers have
been recognized since the inception of the program and more than 100
communities have been able to make great improvements to their hockey
programming as a result."
    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.
    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.

For further information:

For further information: Katie Hammill, (416) 603-9452; Jackie Braden,
RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-2124; Kelly Masse, Hockey Hall of Fame, (416)

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