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BMO Team of the Week

BMO Team of the Week

August 01, 2011 07:00 ET

Canadians Begin Voting to Choose BMO Team of the Week 2011 Champion

- Canadians can cast their votes from August 1 to 15 at BMOsoccer.com

- Grand prize includes $125,000 towards community soccer field refurbishment in team's community

- BMO recently issued report with Queen's University entitled More Than a Game: The Power of Soccer in Youth Development

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2011) -

Editors Note: There are three photos and one video associated with this press release.

As part of its nationwide youth soccer program, BMO Financial Group announced today the start of the official voting period for the BMO Team of the Week contest. Voting for the BMO Team of the Week 2011 Champion is open to all Canadians and runs from August 1 until August 15.

The team with the most votes will win a $125,000 upgrade to their community soccer pitch, a team trip to see a Toronto FC or Vancouver Whitecaps FC home game and $5,000 for a charity of their choice.

"We are encouraging all Canadians from coast to coast to cast their votes online for one of the 15 finalist teams eligible to win a grand prize that will benefit an entire community," said Sandy Bourne, Vice President, Sponsorships, BMO Financial Group.

"Each of the finalists truly exemplifies the spirit of BMO Team of the Week Contest and the teams are wonderful ambassadors for youth soccer in this country. They have demonstrated true passion for the game, an immense amount of spirit on and off the field and a sense of community mindedness that inspires," added Ms. Bourne.

The importance of soccer for youth development was outlined in a recent report from BMO Financial Group and Dr. Jean Cote, Director of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University. The report cites four positive outcomes - the "4 C's" - that adults can influence to create a positive environment in youth sport: Competence, Confidence, Connection, and Character/Caring. The paper also provides specific guidelines for soccer coaches and parents to help children achieve these positive outcomes. To view the report, click here.

About the 15 BMO Team of the Week Finalists

The Gabriola Wolves are a U10 girls' team from Gabriola Island, B.C. Three years ago, team members spearheaded efforts to create the first youth girls team on Gabriola Island. As the only girls team on the island they take a boat trip to every away game. The team plays in a U10 league with girls as young as seven years old, and recorded a 6-8-6 season, which was beyond their "wildest dreams."

The Southwest United Red Devils FC01 are a U10 girls team from Calgary, AB. They are ranked first in the Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA) Girls' Under-10 League, and won the CMSA Family Day Tournament and the Edmonton Slush Cup Tournament. They also supported Canada's war veterans on Remembrance Day.

The Dundas Dragons U10 Girls are a team from Dundas, ON. This dedicated group of girls plays for fun in the off-season and, in addition to weekly practice, runs together on the Dundas Rail Trail every Saturday. The Dragons also volunteered as a team for the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run

The Peterborough City U12 Boys are from Peterborough, ON. They wear pink practice jerseys to raise awareness for the fight against cancer. The boys are also gifted soccer players; in the last three years, they've won or placed highly in a number of tournaments and have moved up divisions based on their success.

The Vaughan Battlecats are a U11 boys' team from Maple, ON. The team sent soccer balls for children in need to a village in Ghana and also collected toys this past Christmas for the CHUM Toy Drive. The team is also a force on the field, winning 15 division and tournament championships in the last four years.

The Central Queens Clippers U12 Girls are from Hunter River, PEI. Central Queens Clippers members referee games and mentor younger girls teams in their club. The girls also participate in the Run for the Cure to raise money for cancer research.

The 44's Boreal FC U10 are from Prevost and Saint-Colomban, QC, and many of the team members come in from small towns in the Laurentians. The 44's named their team in honour of a friend and teammate who tragically lost her life last year and wore the number 44. They have been together for three years, and rely on speed and teamwork to win their matches.

The Rockets from Pitt Meadows, BC, are a U10 girls' team. Not only do the Rockets know how to move the ball, they are noted for their respect of other players. The team participated in a local food bank drive and collected over 700 items for children in need in their community.

The Blainville U11 MAA are a boys team from Blainville, QC. Many have been playing soccer since the age of five, and they took home the title at the 2010 Laurentian Cup. These boys also raised funds for children with cancer through the Leucan Association for Children with Cancer Shaved Head Challenge, and an annual run organized by the Fondation des Gouverneurs de l'Espoir.

The Cordova Bay Impact are a U12 girls team from Victoria, BC. The team will be reaching a soccer dream by playing in the 2011 Gothia Cup in Sweden as the only U12 Canadian girls team. Team members recently participated in a walk to raise money for Diabetes research. They were also the clean-up crew at Victoria's first Tour De Victoria bike race.

The Glen Shields Sun Devils 2000 Girls are from Vaughan, ON. The players raised more money than any other team for the Vaughan in Motion Walk for Cancer. Recently, they volunteered at the City's Peace Tree Day Celebration highlighting peace and diversity within the community. The team's 2010 record led to a promotion to York Region Soccer League Premiere, the highest U11 league.

The Halifax County United U12B Girls are from Tantallon, NS. They weren't dampened this spring by the cold and rainy weather, and continued their practices outside. They have collected clothing and cleats to donate to the Edgars Youth Programme in Uganda. In their own community, they've also provided backpacks of school supplies to local school children.

The U11 Meat Wagon Golden Eagles are a mixed team from Simcoe, ON. Some sport gold mohawk haircuts, others gold headbands to show they are a golden team with lots of spirit. This year they started their own uniform drive through World Teacher Aid, and hope to outfit a whole school of more than 600 students in Nakuru, Kenya.

The Oshawa Kicks Attack from Oshawa, ON are a U10 girls team and they are all about spirit. In the community, they participated this year in the 5km Run for Epilepsy. When some of the players crossed the finish line, they went back to encourage their teammates across the line. Their motto is to "play like a champion, and practice like you want to be one."

The Blizzard Celtic '01 are from Calgary, AB. This U10 girls team has helped their community both individually and collectively, by participating in a Relay for Life 12-Hour Walkathon on the same weekend as a tournament. They have also sent school supplies to children in Burundi. On the field, they were recently finalists in the A Division Calgary City Championship.

BMO Team of the Week Game Plan

From April 1 to June 30, Canadian soccer coaches and parents were invited to nominate their favourite soccer team by logging on to www.BMOsoccer.com. A panel of judges selected 15 winners and each BMO Team of the Week received $500, track suits and a gift to a charity of their choice. Canadians can cast their online vote daily for their favourite BMO Team of the Week between August 1 and 15 by visiting BMOsoccer.com.

About BMO and Soccer

BMO supports soccer across Canada, from youth players in local neighbourhoods and communities, to the professional level. Our deep commitment to "The Beautiful Game" is evident with our grassroots sponsorship of more than 950 youth teams nationally. This relationship continues with the bank's support of Canada's men's and women's national teams, professional teams (Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and our soccer venue title sponsorship (BMO Field).

To view the photos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110729-VoteLaunch800.jpg

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110729-VoteLaunch2800.jpg

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110729-BMOGirlsMetro800.jpg

To view the video associated with this release, please visit the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDYVl2_Yhmo

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