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RBC goes to bat for cricket in Canada

$50,000 in grants shared with community groups through RBC Wicket Cricket Community Fund

TORONTO, February 25, 2009 — Canada's first official national sport - cricket - is making a comeback and a new $50,000 grant program from RBC is helping grassroots organizations make the sport more accessible to young people across the country. Demonstrating just how wide a reach cricket now has throughout Canada, the first $1,000 grant recipients from the RBC Wicket Cricket Community Fund include organizations from St. John's, Newfoundland to Tofino, British Columbia.

"This is a very exciting time to be supporting cricket in Canada and to help young people discover the passion that this sport inspires," said Andrea Metrick, head, Client Strategy and Multicultural Markets, RBC. "We hope our grants make it possible for even more young Canadians and their communities to enjoy what cricket is all about."

The fund builds on the already flourishing RBC Wicket Cricket school program, which now includes some 900 schools and an estimated 50,000 students across Canada. Grant recipients were chosen based on their grassroots credentials, their focus on young people aged four to 17, and their potential to develop and sustain the game of cricket in their communities. Other criteria included: innovation in cricket program delivery, building awareness for the sport in their community, solid community participation, and providing a safe and welcoming environment for cricket.

The grant recipients include organizations wanting to expand their existing cricket programs or start up ones in their communities. One of this year's recipients is The Mississauga Ramblers Cricket Club which was formed in 1966 and now boasts one of the most thriving junior programs in Canada, with over 125 members. The Ramblers' RBC grant will go towards education and coaching junior cricketers for their 2009 summer camp. In Montreal, the Adastrians Cricket Club's grant will help subsidize registration fees, purchase equipment, and create an outreach program to find more coaches.

Another recipient, Brad Gibson of the Edmonton-based Lorelei Knights Cricket Club said, "Thanks to RBC we can finally purchase additional cricket equipment for this program that we are so proud of. Our goal is to get as many kids as possible involved with cricket, and more equipment means that more kids can play."

Grant applications for 2009 will be made available online in March. A complete list of the 2008 grant recipients and further information about the RBC Wicket Cricket Community Fund, as well as resources for community and school cricket programs, can be found at www.rbc.com/wicketcricket.

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For further information, please contact:
Stephanie Lu, (416) 974-5506, stephanie.lu@rbc.com


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02/25/2009 09:15:14