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CIBC Team Next members Josh Cassidy, Stephanie Dixon and Cody Caldwell look to inspire kids with disabilities to mark one-year countdown to TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games
|By PR Newswire
|August 7, 2014 02:12 PM EDT
Canadian Paralympian and Parapan Am hopeful visit with kids at Variety
Village and Holland Bloorview
TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) - Canadian Paralympians Josh Cassidy and Stephanie
Dixon and Parapan Am hopeful Cody Caldwell joined CIBC today in
encouraging kids with disabilities to participate in sports to
celebrate the one-year countdown to the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American
"It's shocking that of the four million Canadians living with a
disability only three per cent of them are involved in sport," said
Josh, a CIBC Team Next mentor. "It just underscores how important it is
to have the Parapan Am Games here in Canada to help motivate kids to be
active and play sports.
"Growing up with a physical disability forced me to learn how to adapt,
in order to achieve. I want to be able to share this message to anyone
dealing with limitations, that anything is possible," added Josh, who
was diagnosed after birth with neuroblastoma cancer that he conquered
but which left his legs partially paralyzed. He is a five-time Canadian
wheelchair racing champion and recorded the fastest time ever set by a
man in a wheelchair in the 2012 Boston Marathon. "Wheelchair Racing
gave me the opportunity to fully participate in sport, and exercise my
determination with goals to pursue."
Fellow CIBC Team Next mentor Stephanie and CIBC Team Next athlete Cody
visited with children and put on clinics today in Toronto at Variety
Village, which offers specialized programs and services to young people
with disabilities, and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital,
Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital. They were joined
by PACHI, the TORONTO 2015 mascot, and CIBC representatives.
"We hope to change the perception of what it means to live with a
disability," said Stephanie, who was born with one leg and has not only
competed with athletes without disability her whole life but also set
several world records and won 19 Paralympic medals, the second most in
Canadian history. "As we count down the days to next year's Parapan Am
Games, I'm really excited for Canadians to embrace the para-sport
Stephanie and Josh mentor up-and-coming amateur athletes in the CIBC
Team Next program, which provides funding and athletic and life skills
mentoring to 67 amateur athletes, including 16 para-athletes, aspiring
to compete at next August's Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto. Cody of
Cavan, ON, a wheelchair rugby athlete, is one of the 67 CIBC Team Next
athletes. He severed his spinal cord in a diving accident six years
"Following my injury I found tremendous strength and motivation in
sport," says Cody. "Mentors like Josh and Stephanie, who have excelled
on the world stage in their respective sports, inspire me to continue
to push myself even further. I am really looking forward to the Parapan
Am Games next summer and I know that having the chance to watch world
class athletes compete on our home turf will help inspire a new
generation of para-athletes here in Canada."
CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with
nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our
three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth
Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products
and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network,
branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United
States and around the world. You can find other news releases and
information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.
About CIBC Team Next
CIBC Team Next is the first program of its kind in Canada that supports
the next generation of amateur athletes with not only financial support
but mentorship from world-renowned Canadian athlete champions. As the
Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, CIBC is
investing $2 million in this program to help 67 amateur athletes,
including 16 para-athletes, from across Canada reach their full
potential on and off the field.
About CIBC's Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and Canadian Paralympic Team
As the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and
proud Premier Partner of the Canadian Paralympic Team, CIBC is
committed to enriching Canadian communities through the power of sport.
We support causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our
communities and aim to make a difference in communities through
corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of
Image with caption: "CIBC Team Next athlete, Cody Caldwell, and mentor, Stephanie Dixon, inspired kids at Variety Village on the one year countdown to the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games with help from Mascot PACHI. (CNW Group/CIBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140807_C9640_PHOTO_EN_42365.jpg
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