RBC launches grassroots hockey program featuring $1 million
in community support and superstar ambassadors
Hockey stars Steve Yzerman, Steven Stamkos, and P.K. Subban
unite to help grow the game
TORONTO, November 29, 2010 RBC today
announced the launch of its RBC Play Hockey program, a wide-ranging,
multi-year commitment that will impact hockey in communities
across North America. Through a $1 million grant program and
a team of RBC Play Hockey Ambassadors, which includes Steve
Yzerman, Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban, who will share their
passion and excitement for the game, RBC Play Hockey will
focus on growing the game from the grassroots level.
"RBC Play Hockey enables us to reach more people, more
communities and more volunteers than ever before to encourage
hockey at all levels," said Gord Nixon, president and
CEO, RBC. "From ponds to podiums, RBC is proud to support
the hard work and dedication that helps hockey happen."
Partnering with Hockey Canada for over 15 years, RBC has
been involved in hockey at both the community and national
level for decades. Following the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter
Games and the World Hockey Summit earlier this year, RBC recognized
the role that hockey plays in the lives of Canadians. And
that by leveraging its sponsorship activities, providing financial
support, and recruiting hockey superstars to offer inspiration
and guidance, RBC could make a real difference in communities
across the country.
"RBC knows and understands the impact and importance
of our national game," said Bob Nicholson, president
and CEO of Hockey Canada. "The RBC Play Hockey program
will help acknowledge the efforts of the unsung heroes who
make hockey happen in big cities and small towns all across
RBC PLAY HOCKEY GRANTS
Over the past seven years, RBC has awarded more than $700,000
to grassroots hockey activities across Canada. To expand on
this tradition, RBC Play Hockey will award $1 million in grants
over the next year to shine the spotlight on the people and
programs that help hockey happen in communities across North
"Without skates to tie, volunteers to teach, coaches
to inspire and ice to skate on the game of hockey simply would
not happen," added Nixon. "Hockey is bigger than
any person or business. It is something that ties communities
together and through RBC Play Hockey, we will fund projects
that keep hockey growing and vibrant."
To celebrate today's announcement, RBC has made donations
to three grassroots hockey projects. In Edmonton, a $25,000
grant was awarded for a girls' hockey festival that will offer
skills development and encourage more participation in the
sport. In Toronto, Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Centre received
a $25,000 grant for learn to skate and ball hockey programs
that encourage new Canadians, age six to 18, to develop their
hockey skills. In Montreal, RBC has donated $25,000 for a
new hockey equipment loan program for inner-city arenas.
RBC Play Hockey grant applications will be accepted at www.rbcplayhockey.com
beginning on December 26, 2010. All applications will be reviewed
by a panel of hockey experts and successful applicants will
be awarded an RBC Play Hockey grant of up to $25,000.
RBC PLAY HOCKEY AMBASSADORS
Past and present hockey stars have been recruited as ambassadors
for the RBC Play Hockey program to share their passion and
offer support to the countless volunteers engaged in growing
the game. These hockey heroes will also help with a range
of grassroots initiatives that will include opportunities
for young and old, male and female, stand-up and sledge players.
"For many people across North America, cost, access
and hesitation in getting started are all elements affecting
hockey that we will address as RBC Play Hockey Ambassadors,"
said Steve Yzerman. "I am proud to partner with RBC and
look forward to working with them to bring this program to
RBC Play Hockey Ambassadors will visit schools, community
centres, arenas and other locations to encourage Canadians
and Americans to take up the sport. RBC becomes the official
banking and financial services partner for each athlete. All
players will act as hockey ambassadors and be featured in
RBC marketing and advertising planned for U.S. and Canadian
The RBC Play Hockey ambassadors are:
Steve Yzerman - General Manager of the Tampa Bay
Lightning, Steve spent his entire NHL career with the Detroit
Red Wings. As Captain for two decades, he led the team to
three Stanley Cups and won numerous awards including the
Conn Smythe and Frank J. Selke trophies and a Gold Medal
with the Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team at the 2002
Winter Olympic Games. Steve was also the Executive Director
of the gold medal-winning Canadian men's hockey team at
the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Steven Stamkos - Currently playing for the Tampa
Bay Lightning, Steven is emerging as one of the NHL's Top
Stars. Picked first overall in the 2008 NHL entry draft,
he has won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2008 World
Junior Championship, was named to Team Canada's roster for
the 2009 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships and was the
co-recipient of the NHL's 2009-10 Rocket Richard Trophy.
P.K. Subban - Currently a defenseman for the Montreal
Canadiens, P.K. Subban is a two-time gold medal winner with
Team Canada at the World Junior Championships (2008, 2009).
In 2009, Subban was selected to the Tournament All-Star
Brian Leetch - Considered to be one of the top defensemen
in NHL history, Brian Leetch was inducted into the Hockey
Hall of Fame in 2009 after playing 18 seasons with the New
York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. Career
highlights include winning the Norris Trophy twice (1992,
1997), being the first and only American-born player to
win the Conn Smythe Trophy, and winning a Silver Medal at
the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
Carla MacLeod - After six seasons on the Canadian
National Women's Ice Hockey Team, Carla's career has been
filled with many highlights including gold medals at the
2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, four World Championships
and taking home a gold medal in 2007 and three silver medals.
Recently retired, she will continue to be actively involved
in her sport through coaching and on-air commentary.
Jennifer Botterill - The youngest member of the
1998 Canadian Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, Jennifer
has won gold at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
A five-time World Champion, and a two-time winner of the
Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in NCAA women's ice
hockey, she is also a Harvard graduate.
Jayna Hefford - A four-time Olympic medalist, Jayna
has won silver at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games,
gold from the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games,
gold at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, and gold at
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She has also won
six World Championships during her 12 years on Canada's
National Women's Ice Hockey team.
Caroline Ouellette - After 12 years on the Canadian
National Women's Ice Hockey Team, Caroline has had successful
career, including gold medals at the 2002, 2006 and 2010
Winter Olympic Games and placing first at five World Championships.
Meagan Mikkelson - In her fourth season with the
National Women's Ice Hockey Team, Meagan is coming off of
a gold medal victory at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She
hopes to represent Canada at the 2011 IIHF Women's World
Championships, and win her second gold medal at the 2014
Olympic Winter Games.
Greg Westlake - An offensive star for Canada's National
Sledge Team, Greg's playing career has been filled with
highlights, including a gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter
Games, awarded MVP for the 2007 season and placing first
at the 2008 World Championships. Greg has been named team
captain for the 2010/2011 season.
Benoit St-Amand - During his six years on the Canadian
National Sledge Hockey Team, Benoit has won a gold medal
at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, placed first at the
World Championship in 2008 and finished fourth at the 2010
Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
For more information about the RBC Play Hockey, the grants
program and the ambassadors, please visit www.rbcplayhockey.com.
RBC is committed to helping hockey happen in communities
across North America. As a premier partner of Hockey Canada,
RBC is the official sponsor of the Men's and Women's National
and Olympic hockey teams, the national Junior A Championship
- RBC Cup, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. RBC sponsors amateur
sport in communities across North America, from grassroots
programs to national sport associations and elite-level athletes.
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Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications,
Bob Stellick, Stellick Marketing Communications,