For additional information, please contact:
Dave Washburn, FLW Outdoors Vice President of Communications,
Dave Simmons, FLW Outdoors/TBF programs manager,
Robert Cartlidge, TBF President,
BASS FISHING'S JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPION TO BE CROWNED AUG. 16 IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FORREST WOOD CUP
Youth anglers representing 46 TBF states will compete for $30,000 in scholarships, $12,000 in youth-program grantsCOLUMBIA, S.C. (December 19, 2007) The Bass Federation announced today that its 2008 National Guard Junior World Championship will be held on Lake Monticello in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 15-16 in conjunction with the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup - the nation's most lucrative bass-fishing championship. Not only will daily weigh-ins be held alongside the world's top professional anglers on the main FLW stage at the Colonial Center, but results will be streamed live along with video and audio to fans around the world watching "FLW Live" on FLWOutdoors.com.
The TBF National Guard Junior World Championship will feature youth anglers from as many as 46 states fishing for $30,000 in scholarships plus $12,000 in youth-program grants. Each participating state will be represented by two junior anglers: one in the 11 to 14 age bracket and another in the 15 to 18 age bracket, both of whom will receive travel assistance to Columbia. Every youth angler will also be treated to a world championship-caliber pizza party served up by the National Guard pro team and featuring high-energy games, entertainment and sponsor prizes.
"This is the third year for the National Guard Junior World Championship, and every year the bar is raised in terms of exposure, participation and excitement," said TBF President Robert Cartlidge. "The young anglers who qualify represent the future of our sport, which I'm glad to say is in good shape based on the 23 percent growth our TBF junior angler program has experienced in past year. More children than ever before are now learning to fish through local TBF clubs, and this is a direct reflection of the awesome support provided by FLW Outdoors and the National Guard."
The junior anglers will each be paired with an FLW Outdoors pro for competition on Lake Monticello. There will be three anglers to a boat: a junior angler from each age group plus an FLW Outdoors pro who will assist the junior anglers but will not fish. The two junior anglers will share control of the boat for the day but will compete in their respective age groups. The full field of junior anglers will compete Aug. 15 then be cut to the top angler in each age bracket from each of the TBF's six geographic divisions. Weights will be zeroed Aug. 16 as six anglers in the 11 to 14 age bracket and six anglers in the 15 to 18 age bracket continue competition, with the winners determined by the heaviest catch from that day.
Qualifying for the 2008 TBF National Guard Junior World Championship will take place between January and July, 2008.
"The National Guard Junior World Championship allows The Bass Federation's brightest upcoming anglers to elevate their game and be spotlighted during the Forrest Wood Cup, which drew a record crowd of more than 60,000 people over the course of the event in 2007," said FLW/TBF Programs Manager David Simmons. "It's such a great way to enhance the FLW Outdoors/TBF partnership and provide an experience of a lifetime for the next generation of anglers and their families. Of course, none of this would be possible without the hard work and support of TBF youth directors and parents nationwide."
First-place finishers in each age bracket will receive a $5,000 scholarship in addition to a sponsor merchandise package. Second-place finishers will receive $3,000 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Third-place finishers will receive $2,500 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Fourth-place finishers will receive $2,000 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Fifth-place finishers will receive $1,500 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Sixth-place finishers will receive $1,000 scholarships plus sponsor packages.
Additionally, FLW Outdoors, on behalf of the National Guard, will award $1,000 to each of the state TBF chapters represented by the six finalists in each age bracket. This money, totaling $12,000, will benefit each chapter's youth program. The eventual champions will also be featured in an episode of "FLW Outdoors," which airs nationwide on FSN (Fox Sport Net), in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a broadcasting agreement with Matchroom Sport. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships by the American Forces Network. Check local listings for show times.
"It's a thrill for me to work with our youth directors and children nationwide on the National Guard Junior World Championship, which provides much needed international recognition for the positive activities, like fishing, pursued by America's youth," said TBF National Youth Director Mark Gintert. "Nothing less than the best is good enough for our young anglers, and that is exactly what we intend to provide in 2008 and for many years to come."
Past National Guard Junior World Championship winners Josh Wagy of Dewitt, Va., and Shane Lehew of Charlotte, N.C., have gone on to compete successfully in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and the Stren Series.
For more information about TBF Junior Angler programs, contact your state's TBF chapter. A list of chapters can be found at www.bassfederation.com. For more information about FLW Outdoors and the Forrest Wood Cup, visit www.flwoutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Editors: Visit the FLW Outdoors Media Center at http://mc.flwoutdoors.com for additional information and photos.