RBC’s support of young athletes is incredibly important. They are under tremendous pressure with the amount of time they have to put into their training, the travelling they do, being away from family and friends, and trying to fit in school work and education. Hopefully our donations help the athletes on the way to achieving their potential.
Dave Thomas, CEO, RBC Capital Markets – Europe
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. One of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, it provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis.
RBC has approximately 85,000 employees who serve more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries. RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities.
Royal Bank of Canada provides young British athletes with financial support and recognition through its partnership with SportsAid. Each athlete receives an annual £1,000 award which contributes towards costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment. This year, RBC is helping 50 up-and-coming sports stars across 31 disabled and non-disabled disciplines.
RBC operates a buddy scheme where employees offer mentoring to the athletes outside of their usual support network. The staff are excellent fundraisers and have generated over £275,000 for SportsAid since 2014. They regularly take part in challenge events and represent the charity in large numbers at the London Marathon, RideLondon and Tough Mudder.
RBC has enjoyed a number of success stories since the partnership began in 2014. Most notably, double Paralympic champion Georgie Hermitage was among the earliest recipients of support from the bank. Recent beneficiaries include sprinter Reuben Arthur, who won gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and England international footballer Lauren Hemp.
Over the last two years, RBC has also sponsored SportsAid’s annual Celebrate the Next event where the winner of the charity’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award is revealed. Boxing star Caroline Dubois claimed the accolade in 2018 followed by para swimming sensation Ellie Challis in 2019. The award has previously been won by Tom Daley and Hollie Arnold.
RBC Ride for the Kids has raised more than £120,000 to help SportsAid run workshops for athletes and parents, in areas of the country the charity would normally be unable to reach, as they receive expert advice on performance lifestyle management, telling your story through the media and nutrition, in addition to mentoring from Olympians and Paralympians.
SportsAid was the chosen charity for RBC Ride for the Kids in 2018 and 2019. The first ride saw a team of 47, all of mixed abilities, complete a two-day cycle of 184 miles from London to Bruges. The following year saw a team of 57, including 40 employees new to the event, take on the 205 mile journey to Brussels. Over 20,000 miles have been covered collectively.
British sporting heroes Danny Crates, Jessica Eddie, Richard Hounslow, Gail Emms, Kelly Sotherton and Melanie Wilson have all previously participated in the RBC Ride for the Kids. The ride has also helped the charity to publicly launch the #MyMiles Challenge, over the last two years, by giving the initiative an early boost in the build-up to SportsAid Week.
“SportsAid have been instrumental in allowing me to become what I am now and what I aim to be in the future. There are so many costs in this sport that a 16 year old could never anticipate – training, kit, venues, travel, supplements, you name it. The higher up you want to go in the sport, the more you feel you should invest into it. The support from RBC through SportsAid helps take some of the financial pressure off me and my family, which allows me to step on the start line with a smile; when I feel good, I run good!”
Reuben Arthur is a sprinter who won a gold medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 4x100m relay. He received a SportsAid award from RBC in the same year.
Arsenal Women Under-16s prospect Alex Hennessy has dreams of one day hitting the net in the Women's Super League but to get there she knows the hard work she has to put in. Like many young women, Alex, who is being supported by Royal Bank of Canada through SportsAid this year, first struggled to find a girls team for her age group when she was young so had to play with boys while growing up.
SportsAid is aiming to shine a spotlight on the next generation of household names across Great Britain….your local heroes! Our blog series, entitled ‘Inside My World’, will look to offer you an insight into the lives of the country’s most talented young athletes while also offering them the platform to express themselves to a wider audience. This time....it’s para athlete Josh Bain, 24, from Feering in Essex.
The Bank of Mum and Dad? That’s just the start! Being the parent or guardian of a talented young athlete is so much more. Taxi driver, personal assistant, sports psychologist, lead nutritionist…and that’s under normal circumstances. Their CV would have grown even further in recent times. School teacher, training partner, social media assistant…and their back garden or garage has probably become a gym! They really are the ‘team behind the team’.
SportsAid was the first ever official charity of the London Marathon back in 1984 and it is now one of the world's most famous fundraising events. Secure your place in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2020.