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World Acclaimed Athletes Kyle Shewfelt And Stephanie Dixon To Become CIBC Team Next Mentors And Help Support Next Generation Of Canadian Athletes

Recent athlete survey suggests that mentorship is equally important as coaching and funding, crucial to success in and out of sporting arena

TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) is proud to announce Olympic and Commonwealth gold-medal gymnast Kyle Shewfelt and multiple Paralympic gold-medalist and world champion swimmer Stephanie Dixon as the two newest CIBC Team Next mentors.

CIBC Team Next is a $2 million investment to assist 67 athletes who aspire to realize their dreams and represent Canada on the world stage. In addition to providing amateur athletes with financial support, the program will offer invaluable opportunities to develop important career and life skills, along with important mentorship from world-class Canadian athletes.

In a recent national survey i of current and past high-performance Canadian athletes, three-quarters stated that having an athlete mentor is as important as having a great coach, and almost half (46 per cent) say it is as important as having the funding to compete.

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that athlete mentors are capable of helping them manage the ups and downs they face in and outside of sport, and managing pressure to perform and succeed. Almost 30 per cent also feel that athlete mentors can help them achieve sport-life balance, which they state as the second biggest challenge they face as amateur athletes, next to managing their finances.

The addition of Ms. Dixon and Mr. Shewfelt to the previously announced list of mentors - including Simon Whitfield, Bruny Surin, Kara Lang, Josh Cassidy, Mary Spencer and Mark de Jonge - will give CIBC Team Next athletes unprecedented access to an awe-inspiring roster of former elite level athletes, each with unique perspectives, experiences and wisdom to impart.

"I am thrilled to be a mentor and share my experiences with future Canadian sporting heroes," said Mr. Shewfelt. "I think it's essential for those of us who have had a positive sporting experience to give back. What I love most about the program is that it not only helps athletes and their families fund the often expensive journey, but it also provides emerging elite athletes with some really valuable tools to use in their life beyond sport. I learned so much from my mentors in the pursuit of my athletic dream and I'm honoured to play a role in helping the next generation reach their full potential!"

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