Lew's becomes title sponsor of Arkansas High School State Fishing Championship

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (May 1, 2012) - Lew's has taken another step in supporting school fishing programs, this time becoming the title sponsor of the 2012 Student Angler Federation (SAF) Arkansas High School Fishing State Championship scheduled for May 12.

The news follows the rod and reel company's recent announcement of its formal program to help high school and college fishing teams with their equipment needs, of which numerous clubs have already taken advantage.

"Lew's is serious about supporting school-sanctioned college and high school fishing programs, and we are excited about our partnership with The Bass Federation to sponsor this great event," said Gary Remensnyder, Lew's president. "Part of the reason for our involvement is to help assure a bright future for our sport, but another reason is because our company believes that fishing is a healthy and wholesome experience that the youth in our country can enjoy for the rest of their lives."

The SAF High School Fishing program, an initiative administered by The Bass Federation (TBF) in partnership with FLW Outdoors, completed its first full year of operation last year with more than 2,500 student participants representing 400 schools.

"Our organization spent a lot of time and effort to make sure we overcame any concerns that high school administrators might have in getting involved with a program of this kind," said Mark Gintert, TBF youth coordinator. "We couldn't be any happier with our successes and growth to date. I'm confident we'll have more than 400 schools participating by year's end. Having Lew's come on board as a major sponsor is another positive sign that we're on the right track."

The Lew's Arkansas High School State Fishing Championship is a two-person team event for students in grades 9-12, to be held on the Arkansas River. Registration for anglers and their "coach," who will provide the boat they compete in, is open up until the start of the event on May 12. The Alltel Ramp (Pool 6) in North Little Rock, Ark., will be the tournament launch site. For complete information on the tournament, including fees, rules and online registration, visit www.HighSchoolFishing.org.

"The Arkansas event is one of SAF's largest state championships, plus the state is home to three of our top pros - Stephen Browning, Mark Davis and Kevin Short - so it's a great fit for Lew's," added Remensnyder. "But our involvement really boils down to a simple company philosophy: those who are given a quality fishing experience do indeed become anglers for life.

"We appreciate the many good people and organizations behind all high school and college fishing programs who are providing these experiences for kids to participate in a sport that has no barriers to gender, size and physical abilities."