TORONTO, January 21, 2010 RBC today announced a significant extension of its golf sponsorship programs that will help fund and enhance grassroots and developmental programs across Canada.
Building Canadian Competitive Golf Excellence
Already the title sponsor for Canada's national golf championship, the RBC Canadian Open, RBC will help fund Team Canada, the Royal Canadian Golf Association's high performance national amateur golf team program. RBC will also contribute support to the resurgence of Canada's national amateur golf championships, conducted by the RCGA.
"We are proud to support the RCGA's vision to drive excellence in competitive amateur golf, building on the recent accomplishments of national team players like Nick Taylor, Matt Hill and Jennifer Kirby at the collegiate, national and international level," said Jim Little, RBC chief brand and communications officer. "Extending our support to Canada's national amateur championships not only allows talented Canadian players to compete in world class competitions on home soil, but also offers so many more golf enthusiasts and volunteers across the country the long-term opportunity to get involved and be a part of this great sport."
"We applaud RBC for their long-term vision in supporting an environment that will build competitive golf excellence in Canada," said Scott Simmons, RCGA executive director and CEO. "Programs that promote grassroots and amateur competition as well as those that help support training and high performance opportunities are critical to Canadian golfers developing their competitive potential."
Supporting Emerging Talent
RBC also announced plans to deepen its relationships with Canada's emerging and established touring professionals.
RBC is creating a new initiative to help young male and female professional golfers make the jump to the professional ranks on the PGA and LPGA Tours. Beginning in 2010, RBC has created a new initiative to support emerging Canadian professionals making the transition to the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour -- including 2010 graduates Graham DeLaet and Chris Baryla on the PGA TOUR, and Lisa Meldrum and Samantha Richdale on the LPGA Tour -- by providing a combination of funding and tailored, comprehensive financial planning and private banking services through its RBC Sports Professionals program. Athletes who elect to sign up for the program will become RBC ambassadors and carry corporate branding on their golf bags as they compete each week on the world's stage.
"This step is a very important element of my development as a professional and my hat is off to RBC for taking a leadership role here and identifying the need," said DeLaet. "It's clear they really get it and are doing an admirable job connecting all the dots through support of Canadian player development from the grassroots all the way up to those of us fortunate enough to make the leap to the PGA TOUR. I'm pleased to be joining their program and am looking forward to meeting everyone on their team."
Weir, Ames Join Team RBC
In addition, RBC is enhancing existing relationships with PGA TOUR pros Stephen Ames and Mike Weir by entering into new multi-year extensions with both players. RBC becomes the official bank for Ames and Weir and both will have RBC branding prominently featured on their staff golf bags when they compete each week on the PGA TOUR. The partnerships are anchored in philanthropy with RBC continuing on as presenting sponsor of the Stephen Ames Cup and the Mike Weir Foundation entering its second year as the national charity partner of the RBC Canadian Open.
"I have been fortunate to have had a very close partnership with RBC for a number of years now and I'm thankful to see that continue," said Weir. "More importantly, however, I'm excited about their support at the amateur level and their investment in the future of Canadian golf. We are seeing many great young Canadian golfers coming up and the support of RBC will not only help them succeed, but will provide the opportunities for even more amateurs to pursue their dreams in the sport."
"Canadians are showing every week that they can compete with the best in golf," said Ames. "RBC's grassroots commitment to the game will be a boost to the next generation of players that will pay dividends for years to come. Their strong commitment to charity, both through the RBC Canadian Open and my own charitable foundation, is also something that I've appreciated personally, not only for the future of the game, but also for the future of the programs that benefit communities across Canada."
Ames kicked off his season on the PGA TOUR last week at the Kapalua event in Hawaii while Weir made his first start yesterday at the Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, California. Weir and Ames join American standout Anthony Kim forming 'Team RBC' on the PGA TOUR.
"Over the past two years, supporting the RBC Canadian Open has given us an opportunity to engage so many of our clients, employees and community partners in an event that they enjoy," said Little. "We're very pleased to take the next step and invest further in the long-term future of golf in Canada by playing a greater role in nurturing the next generation of national golfing heroes and further developing the game that so many Canadians love."
RBC AND THE RBC CANADIAN OPEN
In partnership with the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA), RBC is the title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open, the third oldest national golf championship worldwide, next only to the British Open and the U.S. Open. With a history of great players and premier fields, the RBC Canadian Open provides golf fans with the opportunity to experience the excitement of a world class event on Canadian soil. RBC also sponsors all levels of amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local communities to national sport organizations and elite-level athletes, and is Premier National Partner of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
ABOUT THE RCGA NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
The RCGA National Team Program incorporates advanced coaching, sport science expertise, training camps and world-class competition. The RCGA allocates over $1 million of its resources annually to the National Team program, encompassing strength and conditioning, sports psychology, nutrition, biomechanics and technique development. Players who are selected to the National Amateur and National Developmental Teams represent Canada at six to 10 internationally-sanctioned golf competitions throughout the year. The intent of this comprehensive program is to aid Canada's top up-and-coming amateur players in all areas of their development, helping Canada produce the best golfers in the world.
Team Canada, the pinnacle of the RCGA's High Performance Program, provides access to world class resources including coaching, nutrition, sport science, mental management, equipment, elite competitive opportunities and builds on the support that team members have received in their development years from their family, member clubs, personal coaches, university programs and provincial golf associations. The RCGA's High Performance Program and Team Canada are proudly sponsored by Titleist, Foot-Joy and Under Armour. For more information about Team Canada or to make a donation towards the development of Canada's future golf stars, please visit www.rcga.org/teamcanada.
ABOUT THE ROYAL CANADIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION
The Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) is the governing body of golf in Canada, representing 377,000 members at 1,600 clubs across the country. Recognized by Sport Canada as the National Sports Organization (NSO) for golf in this country, the RCGA's mission is to grow participation in and passion for the sport while upholding the integrity and traditions of the game. The RCGA conducts programs and services to help shape the future of golf in Canada. High performance athlete development, CN Future Links, Canada's national junior golf program, turfgrass and environmental research, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, Rules of Golf and amateur status, handicapping and course rating are only some of the initiatives the association leads for golf in Canada. In addition, the RCGA conducts Canada's most prestigious golf championships. The RBC Canadian Open and CN Canadian Women's Open attract the best professional golfers in the world, while regional junior and national amateur championships showcase the best in Canadian golf.
For further information on what the RCGA is doing to support golf in your community please visit www.rcga.org.
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RBC Media Relations, 416-974-2124, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, Media and Public Relations
Royal Canadian Golf Association
(t) 1-800-263-0009 ext. 406