Canada Safeway announced that once again they would be sponsors of the Safeway KidPro, which kicks off the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship on Sunday July 18, 2010 from the Sorting Gap Marina in Fort Frances. This marks the fourth year that Canada Safeway has been the Safeway KidPro sponsor.
Speaking on behalf of Safeway, John Graham, Public Affairs Manager, noted that Safeway is pleased to support this part of the tournament and have Safeway associated with this community festival in Fort Frances. “It is a great opportunity for the youth of the region to fish with a pro. We hope that some of the youth will eventually find their way into the big tournament.”
“Fort Frances is a great community and I’m proud that Safeway is again putting our support behind such a special community event as the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship”, said Kevin Langford, store manager.
The Safeway “KidPro” tournament provides a day of fishing on Rainy Lake under tournament conditions to youth 10-14 with a professional tournament angler. In addition, “The Outdoor Educator”, Rick Socholotuk provides a day of classroom instruction to all the kids who register for the tournament. The instruction includes rules of fishing safely, fish handling, photographing fish, and handling lures, rods and reels.
Rick who began the KidPro tournament in 1996 noted “It’s a great program for these young people. It gives them a one on one learning day with some of the best anglers in North America. The kids learn. The “Pros” enjoy teaching the kids and often this often leads to lifetime friendships. It may even lead them to tournament angling.”
Andrew Rogozinski, who was one of the original youth in the KidPro, remembers riding fast across the water in a big bass boat. It is one of his first entries into his log that chronicles every day on the water. Today he participates as a “pro” and notes “It gives me a chance to give back to the community and maybe put a fishing spark in a young person’s mind like the pro did for me as a kid.”
John Craig and his partner Larry Hullett who fish as a team at the Canadian Bass Championship annually contribute hats and rods to the KidPro tournament. “I know some of the kids are not as well off as I am” noted John and “I know often that there parents don’t have as much time as I do to take their kids fishing and I remember how much fun it was for me to have my dad take me fishing. I hope that it may help get them away from the TV or video game into the outdoors and an enjoyment of fishing. It sure gives me a good feeling to see those kids out fishing with the pros.”
The youth winner of the tournament receives a replica mount of their winning catch. All fish that are caught are photographed measured for length and girth and immediately released. The winning weight is then calculated later in the day. Each youth receives a copy of all the pictures that they take with the pro for a lifetime of memories.
Joe Thrun who has won the tournament five times with his fishing partner Jim Moynagh commented on the Safeway KidPro; “I think it is a real opportunity for young people to learn. I can’t imagine how excited I would have been at that age to fish with anglers and have the excitement of travelling so fast across the water in a bass boat. I hope we create an excitement with these young people for fishing that will last the rest of their lives”
This will mark the 15th year for the KidPro tournament that is part of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. Almost 500 youth have had the chance to fish with the tournament anglers.
Canada Safeway has been a sponsor and supporter of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship since its inception in 1995. Canada Safeway operates 215 stores across western Canada and has operated a store in Fort Frances since 1929.