January 21, 2008 10:13 ET

National Bank Awards $6,700 in Bursaries to Defi Sportif Athletes

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2008) - National Bank (TSX:NA) presented 15 bursaries totalling $6,700 to the National Bank Champions of the 25th edition of the Defi Sportif at an official awards ceremony held in Montreal on January 18.

National Bank is proud to renew its commitment to the Defi 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 Defi sportif will run from April 30 to May 4, 2008.

"Renewing our association with the Defi 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 Defi Sportif as an opportunity for it to share its values of diversity, integration and equality," she added.

The National Bank Defi Sportif Champions for 2008 are:

Eric Bourgault Cycling Orford
Franco Deschenes Volleyball Sainte-Julie
Francine Desrochers Boccia Montreal
Nicolas Dorval-Despatie Soccer Saint-Hyacinthe
Sidney Fredeling Basketball Kirkland
Brendan Gaulin Goalball Laval
Francois Gonthier Boccia Quebec City
Melanie Lessard Swimming Saint-Leonard
Alexandre Levert Swimming Montreal
Sarah Mailhot Track and field Quebec City
Marc Morin Ball hockey Trois-Rivieres
Catherine Rochette Rhythmic gymnastics Pont-Rouge
Marc-Etienne Sicard Fencing Lorraine
Maxime Toupin Rugby Montreal
Francis Vallee Basketball Montreal

"I'm happy that I will be able to serve as ambassador for my sport for a second year," said swimmer Melanie 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 Defi 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-Leonard resident. "The Defi 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 Valerie 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 (TSX:NA). For more information, visit the Bank's website at

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

Contact Information

  • National Bank of Canada
    Denis Dube
    Director, Public Relations Department