TORONTO — Today, RBC and Golf Canada announced the RBC Community Junior Golf Program, an initiative that will focus on building greater diversity and equity in golf by enabling affordable access to the game for youth in underrepresented communities in Canada. PGA TOUR professional golfer Harold Varner III will join Team RBC and serve as an ambassador for the new program.
As part of the RBC Community Junior Golf Program, Golf Canada will implement the First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course programs at municipal and especially accessible public golf courses across Canada. By 2023, the program is expected to engage more than 10,000 young people by delivering free First Tee programing, which integrates the game of golf with life skills curriculum and $5 Youth on Course green fees to select courses from coast to coast.
As founder of the HV3 Foundation and National Ambassador for Youth on Course, Varner will lend his expertise as an advisor to the RBC Community Junior Golf Program. In September 2021, Varner will host the program’s launch event at a GTA-based golf course, where youth from traditionally underserved communities will have the opportunity to spend time with Varner, learning tips from the pro and benefiting from on-course programming.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Team RBC family and to partner with an organization whose values match my own, including providing young people with affordable access to sport and playing an active role in populating a more diverse pipeline of golf talent,“ said Harold Varner III, Team RBC ambassador. “Through my work with young people, I understand the positive impact sport can have on a young person’s life. It can open doors and present opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. It is an absolute honour to be an ambassador for the RBC Community Junior Golf Program while joining the elite group of players on Team RBC.”
“As a long-standing supporter of golf, RBC is proud to launch a program that will help increase diversity, inclusivity and access to the game of golf,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “We believe in ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to realize their full potential and we look forward to bringing this program to life with the support of Harold Varner III, our newest Team RBC ambassador and someone who is equally as passionate about working with youth as we are.”
One of the important ways RBC brings its purpose of helping client thrive and communities prosper to life is by empowering youth. RBC Future Launch is the bank’s $500 million commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, including $50 million in focused funding to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for 25,000 BIPOC youth by 2025. In addition, through the RBC Heritage and RBC Canadian Open tournaments, RBC has helped raise over $25 million in support of local charities in Canada and the United States.
With 14 Canadian, U.S. and international ambassadors, including World No. 2 Dustin Johnson and World No. 7 Brooke Henderson, Varner joins a team of touring professionals that embodies the pinnacle of golf performance. Along with wearing RBC branding on his golf bag, Varner and his RBC teammates support many of the bank’s marketing initiatives and client experiences.
“Evolving the participant base of Canadian golf so it matches the diversity of multicultural Canada is an important priority,” said Kevin Blue, Chief Sport Officer of Golf Canada. “We’re eager to partner with RBC to help increase access to junior golf, especially for youth from backgrounds that historically have been underserved. By bringing First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course to the most accessible golf courses in Canada, the RBC Community Junior Golf program will help us make sure golf is welcoming to all Canadian youth.”