(May. 20, 2004 - Alexandria, VA)
The non-profit Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation today announced that former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson will serve as honorary chairperson of National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW), June 5-13. Coach Johnson is the first honorary chairperson of the annual fishing and boating celebration, now in its fourth year.
During NFBW, hundreds of communities across the country will host fishing and boating events designed to give families the opportunity to participate in these great pastimes. Coach Johnson will help RBFF kick off the week's festivities at a June 5 media event, where, along with local families, he'll make the ceremonial first cast in New York City's Central Park.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of this American celebration of the outdoors," said Coach Johnson. "I have many, many fond memories of fishing and boating, from when I was a little kid right up to today. For me, there's no greater way to relax and enjoy life than to be out on the water bonding with my family and friends."
Every year, more than 50 million Americans participate in fishing and boating -- that's more people than play golf and tennis combined. Participation not only connects people with nature, it also helps to fund the management and conservation of local aquatic environments. The money that comes from fishing licenses and special taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel funds an average of 83 percent of state fisheries management budgets. These funds ensure that fishery resources are well-managed, accessible and conserved for future generations to enjoy.
"Because of his accomplishments and undeniable love of the water, we are proud to name Coach Johnson as the first honorary chairperson of National Fishing and Boating Week," said Bruce Matthews, president of RBFF. "With his help, we'll show families how time spent on the water can bring them closer together and increase funds to conserve our natural resources."
Over the past 10 years, fishing participation rates leveled off and have not kept pace with the growth in population. But thanks to evolving American values, efforts by industry and government, and event such as NFBW, this trend is beginning to change. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association reported that participation in fishing increased by 1.5 million people last year.
Throughout his 35-year career, Jimmy Johnson build a reputation as a brilliant, intense and dedicated football coach. His coaching accomplishments are generally acknowledged as being among the greatest in the history of the game. He won a national college championship while coaching at the University of Miami, and two Super Bowls as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
In 1999, Coach Johnson resigned as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, citing the desire to spend more time with his family. Today, he is retired in the Florida Keys and is still involved in football as a TV analyst. Living right on the water, Coach Johnson spends much of his time fishing, boating and scuba diving.
For more information on National Fishing and Boating Week, or to find out about fishing and boating events across the U. S. contact Kirk Gillis, RBFF,703-519-0013, ext 109 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[b]About the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF)[/b]
The RBFF is a government funded, nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby increasing public awareness and appreciation of the need for protecting, conserving and restoring America's aquatic natural resources. Recreational boating and fishing are America's favorite sporting activities, with more than 50 million people participating every - year that's more than play golf and tennis combined.