From the beginning of Blackfins Outdoors apart of our core mission is to give back to children in urban communities and showing youth the many wonders and opportunities of the outdoors sporting industry. With this being a main focus of the brand we wanted to bring the outdoors to the kids, as some families don’t have the resources or means to get their children outdoors. By bringing the outdoors to them, we wanted to create a free kids fishing event for urban youth to fish, learn about fishing and the importance of conservation. Being new in the industry we began our research on how we could put something like this together in our home city of Tampa, Florida. Through our online research we came across an organization that was already doing what we hoped we could do one day in Tampa and that group is Urban American Outdoors and the Urban Kids Fish Derby’s they already put on in numerous cities throughout the United States. And as they say, “the rest is history.”
Urban American Outdoors is an organization out of Kansas City that has created and produces one of the first Emmy nominated urban hunting and outdoors television shows. In addition to the television show, they do an annual Urban Kids Fishing Derby tour throughout numerous cities of the US. We reached out to them and after some initial phone call meetings we found out both of our organizations offered some of the same core objectives; diversity in the outdoors and giving back to urban youth. They invited us to their kids fishing derby in Atlanta, GA this past spring so we could meet in person for the first time, but also to get a hands on experience of what the Urban Kids Fishing Derby’s are all about.
This trip to Atlanta was great, not only because of the warm welcome we received from the Urban American Outdoors team, but also the great people and kids that we met that attended the event. The kids were catching Catfish, Brim, Carp and other species that frequented the bodies of fresh water in Georgia. Nothing like seeing a kids face light up when they catch a fish and for some this was their very first fishing experience. We walked around the event helping the kids with their gear, measuring and releasing their catch and introducing Blackfins Outdoors. We were not the only supporting organizations to attend and Urban American Outdoors has many partnerships with local and federal Fish and Wildlife Commissions who were also in attendance. We took advantage of the opportunity to meet many of these supporting organizations and made some great contacts from this event.
As the summer kicked off, we made another trip in June for another Urban Kids Fishing Derby but this time we were in Kansas City, Kansas, the home city of Urban American Outdoors. In addition to attending another great kids fishing event, we had the opportunity to sit down with the leadership team of UAO and discuss some initial plans for bringing this same type of event to Tampa, Florida as a joint venture with Blackfins Outdoors and Urban American Outdoors. These discussions are ongoing and be on the lookout for the 1st Annual Blackfins 4 Kids Fishing Derby in Tampa, Florida next spring, 2018!