National Bank Financial Group donates $450,000 to the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence

Montreal, 21 April 2010 - 

Mr. Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank Financial Group, and Ms. Sylvie Roy, Vice-President – Corporate Marketing and Communications, announced that as a prestige sponsor, the Bank will donate $450,000 – $150,000 per year over three years – to the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence.  Mr. Vachon and Ms. Roy also revealed the names of the 24 athletes who will receive $70,000 in financial support under the 18th edition of the National Bank Bursary Program.

 "National Bank Financial Group is very pleased to maintain its partnership with the Foundation for the next three years and to increase its financial support," stated Mr. Vachon. As a leading partner in achieving business projects and life goals, the Financial Group is always happy to expand its role in sports and to support the development of Quebec's best athletes."

The bursaries were presented with Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence President Claude Chagnon in attendance and very pleased about the Financial Group's renewed support of the Foundation and its strategic plan for 2010-2015.Since 1993 National Bank Financial Group has been setting an example in the private sector with its support of Quebec athletes. It has long understood the importance of supporting not only athletes who have made a mark on the international scene, but more importantly, lesser known athletes who do not yet have access to the funding they need," explained Mr. Chagnon.

Of this year's 24 National Bank bursary recipients, 16 will receive a $3,500 Excellence or Elite bursary, while eight will receive a $1,750 Hopeful bursary. Among them are six athletes who competed in either the 2008 Beijing or 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games: Marianne St-Gelais, double silver medalist in the 500m and 3000m relay in short track speed skating; Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon, 4th in team and 6th in duet synchronized swimming; Sébastien Michaud, 8th in taekwondo; Sasha Mehmedovich, 9th in judo; Roseline Filion, 7th in 10m synchronized diving; and Jennifer Abel, 13th in 3m diving.

We should also mention the names of three athletes who are likely to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London: Ariane Fortin, World Champion in women's 70 kg boxing;  Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, a young member of the men's water polo team; and Chloé Isaac, the rising star in synchronized swimming in Quebec, who finished 4thin solos and duets at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome.

Program Recipients
2010 National Bank Bursaries

Nine $3,500 Excellence bursaries, seven $3,500 Elite bursaries, and eight $1,750 Hopeful bursaries.

Name

Sport

Category

Age

City of origin

Jennifer Abel

Diving

Excellence

18

Laval

Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon

Synchronized swimming

Excellence

27

Rivière-du-Loup

Nicolas Constantin-Bicari

Water polo

Excellence

18

Repentigny

Roseline Filion

Diving

Excellence

22

Laval

Ariane Fortin

Boxing

Excellence

25

St-Nicolas

Chloé Isaac

Synchronized swimming

Excellence

18

Brossard

Sasha Mehmedovich

Judo

Excellence

25

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

Sébastien Michaud

Taekwondo

Excellence

22

Quebec City

Marianne St-Gelais

Short track speed skating

Excellence

20

St-Félicien

Catherine Bouchard-Pilote

Rowing

Elite

20

Boucherville

Billie Derouet

Classical riding (show jumping)

Elite

18

Bromont

Kamille Desjardins

Karate (combat)

Elite

17

Ange-Gardien

Patrick Gagné

Judo

Elite

18

Baie-Comeau

Mélanie Gloria

Tennis

Elite

22

Anjou

Mathieu Marineau

Weightlifting

Elite

19

Prévost

Anne-Marie Pettersen

Judo

Elite

21

Saguenay

Élodie Beaulieu

Taekwondo

Hopeful

16

Repentigny

Nabahat Tadj Bensmail

Handball

Hopeful

16

Laval

Patrice Boily-Martineau

Karate

Hopeful

17

Ste-Julie

Simon-Pier Frasacadore

Judo

Hopeful

17

Beauport

Hugo Houle

Cycling

Hopeful

19

Ste-Perpétue

Valérie Lemay

Volleyball

Hopeful

18

Rouyn-Noranda

Audrey-Anne Le Sieur

Pistol -hooting

Hopeful

13

Trois-Rivières

Caroline Pfister

Cross country running

Hopeful

18

Sherbrooke

One of the objectives of the National Bank Bursary Program, established in 1993, is to support highly promising but unknown young athletes who do not yet have access to the funding needed to help them progress on the international scene. With this in mind, seven athletes aged 17 to 22 will receive a $3,500 Elite bursary, while eight others aged 13 to 19 will receive a $1,750 Hopeful bursary.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group that provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank has over $134 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 17,946 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at
www.nbc.ca.

About the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence
The mission of the Foundation is to financially support and encourage student-athletes in their pursuit of excellence and to promote athletes as role models in Quebec society. Over the past five years, the Foundation has awarded close to $2.9 million in bursaries to student-athletes, and endeavours to increase its yearly amount in bursaries to $1 million as part of its plan for 2010-2015. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website at www.faeq.com.

Information: (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.)

Joan Beauchamp
Senior Advisor – Public Relations
National Bank Financial Group
Tel.: 514-394-6500

Annie Pelletier
Communications Director
Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence
Tel.: 514-252-3171, ext. 3538