IRVINE, Calif. 10/05 — One of the biggest challenges facing the fishing industry is attracting the attention of today’s youth. Competing for their time against video games and an endless list of TV reality shows, for the sport of fishing to grow and survive, steps are needed to reach out to young anglers.
Shimano, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fishing tackle, is addressing this challenge with its new ‘Take Me Fishing’ Scholarship Program. “Any active youth member of a national, regional, state or local-based fishing organization planning on attending a college or university on a full-time basis is eligible to apply for the scholarship,” said Stacey Thorn, marketing manager for Shimano. “To have a chance at the $10,000 in scholarship monies being award to the top three students – $7,000 to the top winner, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third – they must be a member of a fishing club or find one to join and become active in it. Part of the requirements include a letter of referral and proof of membership from a recreational fishing organization.”
As part of associating the scholarship program with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s ‘Take Me Fishing’ awareness campaign, Thorn notes that students applying will have to answer essay questions demonstrating their excitement level for fishing, how they got first got involved in the sport, their plans on keeping the fishing industry alive and growing for future anglers, and their current college education funding plans.
“Studies show that those associated with clubs and organizations find a lifetime of membership opportunities and in many cases stay members for life,” said Thorn. “Our goal for the ‘Take Me Fishing’ scholarship is to award kids who are involved in various fishing clubs, and to provide an incentive to those clubs so that more youths become active.”
Thorn notes that applications for the ‘Take Me Fishing’ Scholarship will be accepted through March 31, 2006, with winners being announced on May 31. The scholarship payment will be made to the designated school for use for tuition, fees and books. Complete details on the program are available on the Shimano web site at www.shimano.com, and questions on whether your fishing club, associations or organization qualifies can be directed via email to [email protected] for verification.