Our friends at Angling Unlimited have had a busy summer and the range of groups with which it has engaged shows the adaptability of angling to engage young and old.
Angling Unlimited received a small amount of funding from Sportivate, and started its summer programme of activities by providing some Fly Fishing sessions for thirteen girls, aged 11 years plus. Those who took part thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spend a day fly fishing and hopefully some will join Angling Unlimited’s Fly Fishing Club as a result. The holiday activity is being followed up with a similar day’s activity in September for more girls from Bartley Green School.
For Angling Unlimited, working with a local Downes Support Group brought very different challenges. At the end of the day the Activity Co-ordinator, Sue, was able to say:
“It was an amazing day seeing these young people with a wide range of needs all participating and having fun, even in the rain and cold wind. I was very impressed with the approach of all the instructors who shared their enthusiasm for the sport, showed empathy and extreme patience in terrible weather conditions to ensure each individual achieved something that day and went home feeling very proud of themselves. Thank you, look forward to the next fishing day – let’s hope the sun shines next time.”
The most important feedback, of course, is from the young people themselves:
Kate; “I didn’t think I would like it, but once I caught a fish I wanted to catch more and try and beat my best mate Sam.”
Sam; “I loved it, it was so cool. I caught a big fish and I want to do it again.”
Those sentiments were echoed by parents:
Mathew’s mum; “I could not believe it, not in my wildest dreams did I think Mathew would sit for so long in the rain, he never stopped smiling as he caught each fish. He was so excited it was great to see.”
Mark’s dad; “It was brilliant – Mark doesn’t do anything or go anywhere. He thinks people are always looking at him because of his disability. The fishing instructors treated him as an equal and were so patient with him, he was thrilled to catch so many fish’. He wasn’t bothered by the rain at all!”
Five year old Jack’s mum; “Jack can’t sit still for very long, although he was up and down a lot the instructor was very patient with him. Jack took some photos into school for ‘show and tell’ where he normally only says a couple of words. The teacher was amazed Jack stood up went to each child to show them the fishing rod he was holding in the photograph and didn’t stop talking about the fish. They had never seen him so excited and animated about anything before. It was great to have some positive feedback from the school about Jack. Let us know when you are arranging the next one – Jack will definitely be coming again!”
Of course the best feedback is in the smiles:
Great work from all the team at Angling Unlimited.