February 10, 2015

Sun Life Financial sponsors hockey in the Himalayas

Photo_Asset_1

Canadian insurer partners with The Hockey Foundation in India offering free training camps at one of the world's highest outdoor rinks

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - The popularity of hockey around the world is rising, but in India they're literally taking Canada's national game to new heights. At almost 11,500 ft. (3,484 meters) sits one of the world's highest outdoor rinks in Leh, India and one of the sites for The Hockey Foundation's 2015 Sun Life Financial Youth Hockey Camps.

In partnership with The Hockey Foundation and the Ice Hockey Association of India, Sun Life Financial has donated $20,000 CDN to offer youth hockey camps at no cost that will be instructed by three certified coaches. The coaches have been flown to India to put on instruction clinics in Leh, Mumbai and Delhi throughout February.

"We know the world sees Canada as a hockey nation, and as a global company headquartered in Toronto and with business operations in India, we knew sponsoring this truly unique event at the top of the world was a natural fit for us," says Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President of Philanthropy and Sponsorship, Sun Life Financial. "We are always looking for opportunities to sponsor health-related activities in the communities and regions where we operate. When we heard about the work to grow the game of hockey and get people involved in a healthy, fun activity, we were immediately interested in lending our support."

Sun Life Financial also provided the jerseys for a shinny-style tournament that saw people from Asia and India travel high up into the Himalayas to play hockey in a very unique location. Tournament attendees included diplomats from several countries, business people from Asia and, of course, local hockey enthusiasts.

"We love the grassroots movement happening here to get youth participating in hockey and Sun Life Financial wanted to help provide support for the work that The Hockey Foundation has been doing here for years," said Joliat. "You can't beat the location because it's so beautiful and playing outdoors is where hockey first started. We are thrilled to help grow the game in India, much like the same way it happened in Canada - on lakes, ponds, and in backyards."

Hockey in the foothills of the Himalayas has grown to become an annual sporting pilgrimage, drawing interest of teams and players from throughout the world. The growing popularity of the sport in India has drawn its support from The Hockey Foundation, which was started by Adam Sherlip who has experience handling youth hockey development in the National Hockey League (NHL). Hockey has brought sport adventurists from across the globe wanting to play and watch the sport amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayan range.

Since 1999, Sun Life Financial has formed a strong partnership with the Aditya V. Birla Group of India (Birla Sun Life) and has a business operations service centre in Gurgaon. Sun Life Financial is committed to growing its business in Asia and considers India an important market. To support this growth, Sun Life Financial looks for opportunities to give back and promote healthy lifestyles in the communities where our customers and employees live and work.

To see the photos and video from this partnership, visit the Sun Life Financial Canada Facebook page.

About Sun Life Financial
Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2014 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $698 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.

Photo_Asset_2

Photo_Asset_3

Image with caption: "A coach is teaching local kids in Leh the proper technique for stopping on skates. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150210_C8254_PHOTO_EN_11970.jpg

Image with caption: "Sun Life’s sponsorship in India is helping to grow the game of ice hockey and promoting health-related activities in a key market for Sun Life. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150210_C8254_PHOTO_EN_11971.jpg

Image with caption: "Getting ready: Players for the local team wait to hit the ice during the tournament (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150210_C8254_PHOTO_EN_11972.jpg

Media Relations Contact: Darren Friesen, Manager, Corporate Communications, Tel: 416-979-6294, darren.friesen@sunlife.com