Press Releases

National Bank awards $70,000 in bursaries to 28 athletes under its program with the Quebec foundation for athletic excellence

Montreal, 31 March 2008 -

Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank, and Gisèle Desrochers, the Bank’s Senior Vice-President – Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, in the presence of Claude Chagnon, President of the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence, revealed the names of the 28 athletes who will receive financial support under the 16th edition of the National Bank Bursary Program.

“Whatever the future holds in store for you, be it wins or losses,” stated Mr. Vachon to the athletes in attendance, “each and every one of you is a role model and a source of inspiration for me and all National Bank employees.”

Of this year’s 28 National Bank bursary recipients, 12 will receive a $3,000 Excellence bursary. They include Karine Sergerie, a World Champion in taekwondo and a serious contender for a Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Noémie Marin, who will be heading to Beijing as a member of Canada’s Olympic softball team.

Several other athletes are either in the process of qualifying for the summer Olympics in Beijing or hoping to do so. They include Roseline Filion (diving), 5th at the 2008 FINA World Cup in China; Marylise Lévesque (judo), 9th at the 2007 World Championships; Sandra Sassine (fencing), 12th at the 2008 World Cup; Sasha Mehmedovic (judo), 7th at the 2007 World Championships; David Zilberman (Olympic wrestling), silver medallist at the 2006 World University Championships; Christine Girard (weightlifting), 8th at the 2007 World Championships; Pierre Lévesque (canoe/kayak slalom), 25th at the 2006 World Championships; Jennifer Abel (diving), 11th in 3-metre springboard at the 2008 FINA World Cup; and Kathy Tremblay (triathlon), 27th at the 2007 World Championships.

One of the objectives of the National Bank Bursary Program, established in 1993, is to support highly promising young athletes who do not yet have access to the funding needed to help them progress on the international scene. To this end, 10 athletes between the ages of 14 and 22 will receive a $2,500 Elite bursary and 6 others between the ages of 11 and 16 will receive a $1,500 Hopeful bursary. One such Hopeful is Vincent Riendeau who recently broke two Canadian age group records held by Alexandre Despatie. At just 11 and 3 months, he is the youngest bursary recipient in the history of the National Bank Bursary Program and in the history of the Foundation.

2008 National Bank Bursary Program Recipients

Name

Sport

Category

Age

Home

Damien David

Tennis

Hopeful

14

L’Assomption

Marie-Ève De Villers-Matte

Judo

Hopeful

16

Boucherville

Mikaël Kingsbury

Freestyle skiing

Hopeful

15

Deux-Montagnes

Laurie Marceau

Speed skating – short track

Hopeful

16

Dolbeau-Mistassini

Felishea Quattrociocche

Archery

Hopeful

16

Montréal

Vincent Riendeau

Diving

Hopeful

11

Pointe-Claire

Chanel Beaudoin-Cloutier

Sailing

Elite

19

Magog

Frédéric Chevarie

Fencing

Elite

16

Sainte-Julie

Billie Derouet

Equestrian

Elite

16

Bromont

Roxanne Fraser

Badminton

Elite

18

Shawinigan

Jonathan Gilbert

Baseball

Elite

18

St-Georges-de-Beauce

Joelle Numainville

Cycling

Elite

20

Laval

Michal Popiel

Judo

Elite

22

Montréal

Ève Routhier

Alpine skiing

Elite

19

Sherbrooke

Marie-Eve Roy

Archery

Elite

17

Québec

Pierre-Luc Thériault

Table tennis

Elite

14

St-Fabien-de-Rimouski

Jennifer Abel

Diving

Excellence

16

Laval

Roseline Filion

Diving

Excellence

20

Laval

Christine Girard

Weightlifting

Excellence

23

Rouyn-Noranda

Marylise Lévesque

Judo

Excellence

25

La Pocatière

Pierre Lévesque

Canoe-kayak slalom

Excellence

25

Ste-Anne-des-Plaines

Noémie Marin

Softball and ice hockey

Excellence

23

Acton Vale

Sasha Mehmedovic

Judo

Excellence

23

Montréal

François-Olivier Roberge

Speed skating – long track

Excellence

22

Saint-Nicolas

Sandra Sassine

Fencing

Excellence

28

Montréal

Karine Sergerie

Taekwondo

Excellence

23

Ste-Catherine

Kathy Tremblay

Triathlon

Excellence

25

Gatineau

David Zilberman

Wrestling

Excellence

25

Montréal

The National Bank Bursary Program has three categories: Excellence, Elite and Hopeful. The Program is open to all athletes who participate in an Olympic or Paralympic discipline as identified by a sport federation. Athletes must be eligible to represent Canada at the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games or the World Championships and demonstrate the need for financial support.  Recipients must also be enrolled in a post-career project, which usually takes the form of secondary, college-level or university studies.

Over the past nine years, National Bank has invested $900,000 in the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence. Of this amount, 70% has been used to finance the National Bank Bursary Program and the other 30% has been invested as capital in the Foundation in order to ensure bursaries for young athletes in the future.

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. 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 $120 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,856 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website atwww.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. By the end of 2008, the Foundation will have awarded more than $600,000 in bursaries. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website at www.faeq.com.

Information:

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

Marie-Claude Lavigne
Senior Advisor, Public Relations Department
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: 514-394-6500