The Bass Federation’s (TBF) Student Angler Federation (SAF) and FLW Outdoors announced today the formation of the largest student angler program in history.
Decades of youth program leadership by TBF and affiliated state federations, and FLW Outdoors’ position as the largest promoter of tournaments in the world have spawned the largest youth fishing initiative in sports history. The new national High School Fishing program follows highly successful TBF and FLW Outdoors programs including National Guard FLW College Fishing, the SAF High School Fishing World Finals and the TBF Junior World Championship. Over 23,000 high schools across the nation and Canada are invited to compete giving high school anglers opportunities to fish, make friends, advance to championship events and earn scholarships to benefit their education and their lives.
“The Federation was founded on three core principles – youth, conservation and fishing,” TBF President, Robert Cartlidge, said. “For more than four decades we’ve been the leader in youth fishing programs. This is the next step for us and for our great partnership with FLW Outdoors.
“Through our Student Angler Federation we’ll provide every high school club and angler who enters a High School Fishing State Championship with full TBF and FLW Outdoors member benefits, including the all-new FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition, TBF insurance coverage while competing and educational material on math, science and language arts and why they’re important to fishing and life. We will also provide advancement to the nation’s premier fishing events. So, it’s not simply about another fishing tournament. It’s about fishing, education and family fun. Prizes will consist of trophies, sponsor products and significant scholarships, which can help these young anglers prosper.”
The High School Fishing program will start out with a High School Fishing State Championship for every state in the continental United States and the province of Ontario, Canada. The events will be a two-person team format of high school students grades 9-12, paired with a “coach” of their choice who will provide the boat they compete from. All state championships are only $25 per person. Current TBF SAF high school club members fish for free. All competitors receive full SAF member benefits, including TBF and FLW Outdoors membership with their $25 entry fee so it’s a win-win for everyone.
The winning team from each state championship advances to a High School Fishing Regional Championship held on a college campus in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship, where boats and a travel allowance are provided. The winning team from each regional championship advances to the High School Fishing National Championship held on a college campus in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship, again where boats and a travel allowance are provided.
The High School Fishing National Champions each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice. All SAF members and High School Fishing State Championship contestants automatically qualify for High School Fishing’s single largest event, the 2011 SAF High School Fishing World Finals July 20-23 in Russellville, Ark.
“High School Fishing is the natural progression of our successful National Guard FLW College Fishing program,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW Outdoors President, Operations Division. “With TBF heading up the state championships and FLW Outdoors leading the way at regional championships and the national championship, we are able to provide a comprehensive program that will help connect students to our nation’s natural resources while also providing a new sport for young men and women alike that will give students an even stronger connection to their schools.”
To register for your High School Fishing State Championship and information on how to start an SAF High School Fishing club, visit Highschoolfishing.org.