Photo: Canadian employees say they’re looking for meaningful support in work and life.Photo: Canadian employees say they’re looking for meaningful support in work and life.

It’s the same feeling for teammate Shahriz. 

“Cricket was part of my household and culture as I grew up. However, once I moved to Canada I got involved with the sport more than ever before,” says Shahriz. “With all the change that encompasses moving to a new country, cricket was the thing that gave me a sense of consistency, a natural social circle, and an outlet away from the challenge of resettling."

“More importantly [the team] created a support group of new immigrants,” adds Shoaib.

While it’s believed that cricket has been played in Canada for over 150 years, RBC’s team first started in 2006. The team has participated in tournaments with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and CIMA Toronto Mayor Cup, as well as in the Canadian Corporate Cricket League regular season. The team is made up of a diverse group of individuals from across RBC, united by their passion for the game. 

The team has seen its role as a connector become increasingly important as Canada welcomes record numbers of new residents from cricket-obsessed countries like India and Pakistan. According to data from Statistics Canada, those two countries comprised 21.3% of immigrants that arrived from 2016-2021.

While the competition has been fierce, players on the team have also built both personal and professional connections, as being on the team has led to many mutually beneficial opportunities for career coaching and mentorship. 

"I’ve encountered people with similar experiences who been able to successfully grow and develop into new and more senior roles, some that I aspired myself to one day be in,” says Shoaib, “The team has also allowed me to connect with senior leaders in the bank. I’ve met mentors who to this day help me with career conversations.”

“Just recently I had a conversation with a senior leader in Business Financial Services who I met on the team and he gave a subtle tip to help with networking conversations,” adds Shahriz. “He suggested focusing on one topic I want to learn more about when I have career conversations with senior executives and gathering their insight. The advice seems obvious, but it’s a reminder that’s made networking much more comfortable.”

It’s also been a journey of discovery with opportunities to explore the different roles people have at RBC. “I’ve met individuals from different areas in the bank that I didn’t even know existed,” says Shoaib. For team co-founder Sajid, seeing these interactions on and off the pitch has been gratifying.

“I’ve been involved since 2006 and it continues to bring personal satisfaction to me and showcase my love for cricket, says Sajid. “It’s my privilege to get an opportunity to share my career journey and the support I got from my mentors with colleagues from across RBC.”

While they eagerly await to get back on the pitch, Shoaib and Shahriz see a bright future for the sport in Canada.

“Cricket has a rich history in Canada. It actually was declared the first national sport before lacrosse and hockey,” says Shoaib. “I see the popularity of the game increasing.”

“The cricket culture has been expanding phenomenally,” adds Shahriz. “As I got involved with the RBC team, I also encouraged my wife, who played as a teenager in Pakistan, to take up the sport again. She ended up making the cut for the Canadian women’s team and has been playing since then.

“Cricket is truly part of our lives.”

A word from our lawyers

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject matter discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

People here volunteer alot. Not because they have to, but because they want to make a difference. This is RBC.
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