Shimano has announced through the new “Shimano Varsity” program they will award five scholarships to select high school seniors planning to major in biology, fisheries, wildlife or natural resource fields.
The goal of the program is to recruit young anglers into natural resource professions, while learning about fishing tackle and success on the water.
The past 20 years have seen a decline in professional natural resource managers who fish and hunt, and through this award, Shimano hopes to encourage young professionals to pursue their interest in these fields.
B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliand was specially selected as a judge for the scholarship panel.
“As a former state fish and wildlife agency administrator, I and many of my colleagues often discussed our concern over the quality of candidates applying for fishery management positions in our states,” said Gilliand. “Recruiting biologists who had a fishing background, who understood the sport, had become more difficult.
“Shimano is stepping up with these scholarships to encourage high school students who have a passion for fishing and science, to enroll in college programs that can produce not just good biologists, but also biologists who understand their constituents — the anglers — because they are anglers themselves.”
The recipients will receive $3,000 toward their tuition beginning in the fall of 2017.
“Shimano continues to be a major supporter of our youth platforms,” said Hank Weldon, senior tournament manger for B.A.S.S. youth programs. “These scholarships are proof that they believe in our programs, and we are grateful for that. They will hopefully help change someone’s life by helping them continue their education while taking some financial burdens away.”
Others on the panel, in addition to Gilliand, include Shimano’s Vice President for Government Affairs/Advocacy Phil Morlock and Chris Horton with the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation.
Applications must be completed no later than April 30 on the Shimano Varsity website at varsity.shimano.com. The scholarship is available to high school seniors in both the U.S. and Canada. Winners will be notified by June 1.
About B.A.S.S.: B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.