BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. and Shimano are partnering to award the first Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarships to deserving female high school anglers who want to pursue competitive fishing at the college level. The two $2,500 scholarships honor Sevier’s leadership and long-term vision for the growth of sportfishing.
“B.A.S.S. is excited to partner with Shimano on the Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarship. This partnership provides an outstanding opportunity to honor the incredible legacy and impact that former B.A.S.S. CEO Helen Sevier had on the entire sportfishing industry. Female participation is higher in our youth tournament trails, and supporting the scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to encourage and support driven female anglers as they look to take their fishing to the next level,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. CEO.
Scholarship applications are being accepted until July 15, 2022, and after being reviewed by a panel of judges from Shimano and B.A.S.S., including Sevier, the recipients will be honored at the 2022 Abu Garcia Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.
Sevier, just the second full-time member of B.A.S.S. hired by founder Ray Scott in 1970, was a pioneer at all levels of the organization. During her 31-year career at B.A.S.S., Sevier oversaw a boom in membership — the organization boasted more than 600,000 members when she sold to ESPN in 2001 — as well as the expansion of Bassmaster’s media operation to include seven magazines and two television shows, including the iconic TV program, The Bassmasters. Sevier was also instrumental in recruiting young people to the sport through the innovative CastingKids program. In 2004, Sevier was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and her induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame came in 2018.
“Helen Sevier broke down invisible barriers in the fishing industry. In doing so, she paved a path forward for future female anglers and leaders,” said Sarah Harper Burke, Senior Marketing Manager, Shimano North America Fishing. “Shimano is proud to support the Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarship in 2022 to continue in and share her vision of growth in sportfishing. This scholarship will help ensure future ‘pioneers’ have support and recognition in their endeavors to compete at the college level.”
To be eligible for the inaugural Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarship, the female angler must be a rising senior or recent high school graduate and B.A.S.S. member with plans to fish competitively at a four-year college or university, two-year college or university or vocational school.