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More than 100 kids and the governor take part in Parsons area fishing contests

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Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was in Parsons on Saturday joining young and veteran fisherman who were gathered at Big Hill Lake for two events promoting the great outdoors.

More than 100 kids gathered at Big Hill Lake for the Darrel Stice Memorial Kids Fishing Derby and the Wildlifer Challenge.

"We've got over 100 kids out here learning what it's like to be outdoors and build a knapsack, to fish, to shoot a bow and arrow, all sorts of stuff I grew up on the farm doing," says Governor Brownback.  "But people's lives now are much more urbanized and it's nice to just get people connected again and these great lakes, this is a wonderful lake here at Big Hill."

Governor Brownback was also in town for the 17th annual Governor's Fishing Classic.  He says events like these showcase outdoor opportunities Southeast Kansas has to offer.

"It's also to promote the outdoors, we don't do enough promoting the outdoors," says Governor Brownback.  "People are inside so much of the day they don't connect or haven't connected with the outdoors, so this is about connecting people to the outdoors."

Governor Brownback cast out his line alongside Kansas native and 2012 Bass Angler of the Year Brett Chapman.

"I got to ask him a lot of questions about what he does and he asked me a lot of questions about what I do, and in the mix of that we caught a few fish to go along with it," says Chapman.

The two handed out awards at the end of the Kids Derby in each category and one, Wyatt Shultz, walked away with a lifetime fisherman's license.

"Me fishing in Kansas was what got me where I am in my career," says Chapman.  "So to have an opportunity like this to give back and to see kids getting out and outdoors and enjoying fishing and the outdoors is really a great idea for sure."

Organizers say with the larger than expected attendance at this years event they hope to bring even bigger opportunities to the lake next year.

Saturday's events concluded with the Pro Series awards, and a luncheon for those competing in the Governor's Classic.

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