Press Releases

National Bank awards $6,700 in bursaries to Défi Sportif Athletes

Montreal, 21 January 2008 -

National Bank presented 15 bursaries totalling $6,700 to the National Bank Champions of the 25th edition of the Défi Sportif at an official awards ceremony held in Montreal on January 18.

National Bank is proud to renew its commitment to the Défi Sportif for the sixth straight year. For the past three years, it has selected 15 individuals to be National Bank Champions and has awarded them bursaries. National Bank Champions are chosen for their communication skills, drive and passion for their discipline.

This year, the Défi sportif will run from April 30 to May 4, 2008.

“Renewing our association with the Défi Sportif this year is a source of pride for the Bank,” said Sylvie Roy, National Bank’s Vice-President of Marketing, who had the pleasure of presenting the bursaries to the athletes. “The Bank sees partnering with the Défi Sportif as an opportunity for it to share its values of diversity, integration and equality,” she added.

The National Bank Défi Sportif Champions for 2008 are:

Éric Bourgault



Franco Deschênes



Francine Desrochers



Nicolas Dorval-Despatie



Sidney Fredeling



Brendan Gaulin



François Gonthier


Quebec City

Mélanie Lessard



Alexandre Levert



Sarah Mailhot

Track and field

Quebec City

Marc Morin

Ball hockey


Catherine Rochette

Rhythmic gymnastics


Marc-Étienne Sicard



Maxime Toupin



Francis Vallée



“I’m happy that I will be able to serve as ambassador for my sport for a second year,” said swimmer Mélanie Lessard, who was a National Bank Champion in 2007. “After the first time, I felt there was still more I could do to help promote swimming, participation in sports by people with disabilities and the Défi Sportif. I’m thrilled to have another year to impart my passion to others.”

Being a National Bank Champion in 2008 is especially meaningful for this Saint-Léonard resident. “The Défi Sportif is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, which happens to also be the year when the Paralympic Games will be taking place. It will be an amazing time because we will have an extraordinary opportunity to promote a positive, active image of people living with disabilities.”

Photos of the event are available on request.  Please contact Valérie Lamarre at 514-394-5000, extension 2393, for a copy.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which 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. The 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 more than $113 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,863 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at

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

Denis Dubé
Director, Public Relations Department
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: 514-394-8644