CIBC announces commitment to support para-athletes across Canada

PR Newswire

Just over one month remains to apply for CIBC Team Next; Application deadline extended to September 10, 2013

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - With just two-years to the 2015 Parapan Am Games, CIBC (CM.TO) (CM), Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is proud to announce its commitment to para-athletes through the recently launched CIBC Team Next - a $2 million investment to help young athletes across the country realize their dreams and represent Canada on the world stage.

Recognizing the depth of talent and success of Canadian para-athletes, twenty-five percent of the 67 spots on the CIBC Team Next roster will be dedicated to para-athletes.

"Para-athletes are inspirational role models for the approximately 14 per cent of Canadians who live with some sort of disability; so it was important to reflect that in our selection of the 67 athletes in the CIBC Team Next program," said Richard Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer, CIBC. "There is a need for this type of program in the para-athlete community and our goal is to create a lasting sport legacy for all athletes in Canada."

In addition to providing amateur athletes with financial support - recipients will receive a $5,000 annual grant for the next three years, ($15,000 in total per athlete) - the program will provide invaluable opportunities to develop important career and life skills, along with mentorship from world class Canadian athletes, including Josh Cassidy, Simon Whitfield, Bruny Surin, Kara Lang, Mary Spencer and Mark de Jonge.

"Athletes of all abilities can greatly benefit from a program like CIBC Team Next, which is why I became an ambassador for the program" said Josh Cassidy, five-time Canadian champion wheelchair racer, winner of both the 2012 Boston Marathon and 2010 London Marathon, and CIBC Team Next mentor. "Sometimes as a para-athlete you don't feel that you have the same level of access to corporate support as your peers, so it's great for CIBC to make this commitment today."

Since announcing the launch of the CIBC Team Next program last month, interest has surpassed expectations. Recognizing the hard work that goes into each submission, and the fact that many athletes have been busy competing or in training, CIBC is extending the submission deadline to September 10, 2013.

To be considered for CIBC Team Next, athletes must be competing in a summer sport on the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games sport program, and must be nominated by their respective national sport organizations. The program is being administered for CIBC by AthletesCAN and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, who will also manage the final selection process. For more information on the program and how to apply, please visit facebook.com/cibc.

About CIBC
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

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