RBC gives cricket a boost in Canada
New elementary school program funds equipment and provides
TORONTO, February 27, 2008 — 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
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.
- 30 -
Jackie Braden, RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-2124