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Press release from CNW Group

World acclaimed athletes Kyle Shewfelt and Stephanie Dixon to become CIBC Team Next mentors and help support next generation of Canadian athletes

Thursday, October 17, 2013

World acclaimed athletes Kyle Shewfelt and Stephanie Dixon to become CIBC Team Next mentors and help support next generation of Canadian athletes

08:00 EDT Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recent athlete survey suggests that mentorship is equally important as coaching and funding, crucial to success in and out of sporting arena

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TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) is proud to announce Olympic and Commonwealth gold-medal gymnast Kyle Shewfelt and multiple Paralympic gold-medalist and world champion swimmer Stephanie Dixon as the two newest CIBC Team Next mentors.

CIBC Team Next is a $2 million investment to assist 67 athletes who aspire to realize their dreams and represent Canada on the world stage. In addition to providing amateur athletes with financial support, the program will offer invaluable opportunities to develop important career and life skills, along with important mentorship from world-class Canadian athletes.

In a recent national surveyi of current and past high-performance Canadian athletes, three-quarters stated that having an athlete mentor is as important as having a great coach, and almost half (46 per cent) say it is as important as having the funding to compete.

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that athlete mentors are capable of helping them manage the ups and downs they face in and outside of sport, and managing pressure to perform and succeed. Almost 30 per cent also feel that athlete mentors can help them achieve sport-life balance, which they state as the second biggest challenge they face as amateur athletes, next to managing their finances.

The addition of Ms. Dixon and Mr. Shewfelt to the previously announced list of mentors - including Simon Whitfield, Bruny Surin, Kara Lang, Josh Cassidy, Mary Spencer and Mark de Jonge - will give CIBC Team Next athletes unprecedented access to an awe-inspiring roster of former elite level athletes, each with unique perspectives, experiences and wisdom to impart.

"I am thrilled to be a mentor and share my experiences with future Canadian sporting heroes," said Mr. Shewfelt. "I think it's essential for those of us who have had a positive sporting experience to give back. What I love most about the program is that it not only helps athletes and their families fund the often expensive journey, but it also provides emerging elite athletes with some really valuable tools to use in their life beyond sport. I learned so much from my mentors in the pursuit of my athletic dream and I'm honoured to play a role in helping the next generation reach their full potential!"

"A key reason we chose to become Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games was our desire to create a lasting sport legacy in Canada," said Richard Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer, CIBC. "One of the ways to ensure that legacy is to provide our next generation of athletes with the kind of support they need to succeed."

"Mentorship is absolutely critical for aspiring athletes and we are proud to welcome Stephanie and Kyle aboard to help guide, inspire and empower Canada's future stars," said Mr. Nesbitt.

The 67 athletes selected to the CIBC Team Next roster will be announced in November.  Each of the 67 athletes will receive:

  • A $5,000 annual grant for the next three years ($15,000 total);
  • Mentorship from prominent Canadian athletes;
  • Workshops and advice on personal finances, post-secondary and career planning, social media training and public speaking;
  • Exclusive access to the CIBC Team Next idea sharing forum;
  • Community support and networking opportunities through the local CIBC branches and employees in their home community;
  • Preferred CIBC products and services.

The program is being administered for CIBC by AthletesCAN and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. For more information on the program please visit facebook.com/cibc.

CIBC's investment of $2 million in the program is in addition to $2 million legacy investments already committed in support of Canada's youth related to the Pan/Parapan Am Games, including sport-related CIBC Youthvision scholarships, and programs for Aboriginal youth.

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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i National survey of 248 current and former Canadian amateur athletes, conducted by Survey Monkey from October 4 - 8, 2013.


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Image with caption: "Gymnast Kyle Shewfelt joins CIBC Team Next as a mentor (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131017_C4541_PHOTO_EN_32131.jpg

Image with caption: "Paralympic Swimmer Stephanie Dixon joins CIBC Team Next as a mentor (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131017_C4541_PHOTO_EN_32124.jpg

Image with caption: "Paralympic Swimmer Stephanie Dixon joins CIBC Team Next as a mentor (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131017_C4541_PHOTO_EN_32126.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

For further information:

Media contact: Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications, CIBC, caroline.vanhasselt@cibc.com/416-784-6699.

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