Volleyball Athletes Named to CIBC Team Next

Nov. 18, 2013 : Volleyball Canada is pleased to congratulate athletes Grant O’Gorman (beach) and Austin Hinchey (sitting) on being selected to represent the sport on CIBC Team Next.

O’Gorman (shown here with mentor Josh Cassidy from wheelchair racing) and Hinchey are two of the 67 athletes from across Canada who will receive $15,000 in funding over three years as well as invaluable life skills and sport mentorship from eight of our nation’s finest high performance athletes.

“Being part of the CIBC Team Next is going to be a great aid for the next three years,” said 20-year-old O’Gorman. “I am going to make many connections, and gain a great mentor. This program will also let me learn about others who are similar to me but in different sports. Financially, it will assist me in travelling to more world tour events, allowing me to increase our world ranking.”

O’Gorman of Scarborough, Ontario, was second at the 2013 U21 World Championships, among his many other athletic accomplishments, and he also played indoor volleyball at York University. He has committed to training at the Beach Volleyball High Performance facility in Toronto with his sights set on the 2015 Pan Am Games and 2016 Olympic Games.

He adds: “I’m excited to develop as a person and an athlete as a result of this program.”

Edmonton native Austin Hinchey, 22, is also an outstanding athlete who is the captain of the national sitting team, as well as a key player for UBC Thunderbirds able-bodied team. The 6 ft 2 centre is a below-the-knee amputee who is considered an excellent all-round athlete.

“This sponsorship from CIBC is a game changer," said Hinchey. "The knowledge and information that will be shared between the 67 athletes and our mentors is going to create a huge impact. The Athlete Forum this weekend was such a unbelievable experience with speakers such as Peter Jensen, Kevin Jagger, and CBC's Scott Russell coming to share with us. I am so grateful to CIBC for giving us such a quality experience and opportunity.... Another thank you goes out to Volleyball Canada and the sitting volleyball staff for nominating me.”

The CIBC Team Next mentors include: Josh Cassidy, Mark de Jonge, Stephanie Dixon, Kara Lang, Kyle Shewfelt, Mary Spencer, Bruny Surin and Simon Whitfield.

The athletes were unveiled in a special ceremony on Monday, November 18 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.

CIBC is the Lead Partner of the 2015 Games and recently joined the Canadian Paralympic Committee as a Premier Partner. CIBC designed the CIBC Team Next program in partnership with AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario to create a lasting sports legacy in Canada. To be considered for the program, the athletes had to be nominated by their national sport organizations.

The CIBC Team Next program provides:
• $15,000 in funding over three years;
• Annual workshops and advice on personal finances, post-secondary and career planning, sport leadership skills, media training and public speaking;
• Exclusive access to the CIBC Team Next idea sharing forum;
• Community support and networking opportunities through the local CIBC branches and employees in their home community; and,
• Preferred CIBC products and services.

Why 67 athletes? CIBC wanted to honour the year of Canada’s birth, 1867, which is also the same year that the bank was founded.

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

For the official press release please click here.

Volleyball Canada media contact: Jackie Skender 613.794.7676