Five swimmers selected for funding and mentorship


TORONTO – Five Canadian swimmers are among 67 amateur athletes who will receive $15,000 in funding over three years as part of the CIBC Team Next program.

Hilary Caldwell of White Rock, B.C., Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson of Ottawa, Russell Wood of Calgary, Danielle Kisser of Delta, B.C., and Jean-Michel Lavalliere of Quebec City will represent swimming. Caldwell, Seltenreich-Hodgson and Wood all competed at the FINA World Championships this past summer, while para-swimmers Kisser and Lavalliere took part in the IPC Swimming World Championships.

In addition to funding, the athletes will receive sport and life skills mentorship from a variety of high-performance athletes. The mentors include: Josh Cassidy, Mark de Jonge, Stephanie Dixon, Kara Lang, Kyle Shewfelt, Mary Spencer, Bruny Surin and Simon Whitfield.

The program features annual workshops and advice on personal finances, post-secondary and career planning, sport leadership skills, media training and public speaking. It also includes idea sharing, community support and networking opportunities.
The athletes were unveiled in a special ceremony on Monday at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto. CIBC Chief Operating Officer Richard Nesbitt, the Honourable Bal Gosal, Canada’s Minister of State (Sport) and the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport for the Government of Ontario were on hand for the event, along with pre-event entertainment from PACHI, the official mascot of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, and freestyle soccer demonstrations.

Each of the 51 sports and disciplines in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are being represented.

Scott Harrigan
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