Unique funding/mentorship program supports aspiring athletes and inspires youth participation in sports
TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM:NYSE) is proud to announce the members of CIBC Team Next, a group of 67 amateur athletes from across Canada, aspiring to represent our nation on the world stage.
The athletes were unveiled today in a special ceremony in Toronto after a two-day orientation camp during which they received financial literacy, media, sport leadership and life skills training. They also had unprecedented access to current and former Canadian elite-level athlete mentors.
Representing the future of sport in Canada, the athletes come from small towns and big cities from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, reflecting our nation's vast geography and cultural diversity. Ranging in age from 15 to 52, CIBC Team Next includes 16 para-athletes, as well as two athletes of Aboriginal descent. The program represents each of the 51 sports and disciplines in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games—from boccia, cycling and para-archery to ten-pin bowling, swimming and wheelchair basketball."We look forward to cheering on these athletes every step of the way as they train to represent Canada on the world stage," said Richard Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer, CIBC. "As Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we designed the CIBC Team Next program to create a lasting sports legacy in Canada. We want to equip our next generation of athletes with the kind of support they need to reach their goals in sport and in life." CIBC is passionate about celebrating and supporting the dedication and sacrifice it takes to become a high performance athlete—long before a medal is ever awarded. This select group of CIBC Team Next athletes will help motivate Canada's children and youth to participate in sport, while inspiring all Canadians with their experiences as they strive for the podium. The CIBC Team Next program is a $2-million investment to assist 67 high performance athletes realize their dreams of representing Canada. Over the next three years, each athlete will receive $15,000 in funding plus invaluable opportunities to develop important career and life skills under the mentorship of eight world-class Canadian athletes: Josh Cassidy, Mark de Jonge, Stephanie Dixon, Kara Lang, Kyle Shewfelt, Mary Spencer, Bruny Surin and Simon Whitfield. The program was first announced in July. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Samantha Sendel, 22, of Aurora, ON, who won the Canadian individual trampoline championship in May. "It will help me with training and competition costs, which add up very quickly. And, just as important, it will help me develop life skills that I can leverage now and in the future." "I feel privileged to have been selected to CIBC Team Next and I am excited to share my journey with the 66 other athletes and all Canadians from coast to coast to coast," said David Letourneau, 24, of Calgary, AB, who qualified for the Canadian men's national squash team this year. The CIBC Team Next program also provides:
- Annual workshops and advice on personal finances, post-secondary and career planning, sport leadership skills, media training and public speaking;
- Exclusive access to the CIBC Team Next idea-sharing forum;
- Community support and networking opportunities through the local CIBC branches and employees in their home community; and,
- Preferred CIBC products and services.