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  • Writer's pictureFishing for Schools

CPD day at the Lower Itchen Fishery

There must be some kind of joke that starts with "What do you get if you gather 14 anglers together on a bitterly cold riverbank in early December?"

Chaos? Actually, not.

Whilst we are a very close-knit group at Fishing for Schools, we seldom have the opportunity to actually meet. Therefore, you might have coaches in Kent who have never actually met their counterpart in the West Country, Yorkshire, or the Midlands. Spoken: Yes. Zoom: Yes. Just not physically meeting up.

I have always felt, now more than ever, that esprit de corps is vital to drive a charity – or business for that matter. One mustn’t be faceless or become estranged from the very people in which you store so much hope and ambition. They are, without doubt, your engine. Look after it and them, and nurture.

So we fished, ate bacon sandwiches, devoured cheese (No, Ian Tucker, you can’t use that cheddar for bait!) supped soup, caught fish, had a whale of a time… and learnt.

The whole idea was for predominately coarse fishing coaches to swap with game fishing instructors and vice versa.

As a result, the whole day worked beautifully and a new respect for each other’s approaches really did bite home.

There is forever that friendly rivalry between one element over the other as to which is the more subtle, difficult and harder to master. As it turned out, both seemed equally tricky to master and a respect for one another’s chosen discipline certainly came to the fore that Sunday.

One thing is certain, this particular day spent beside the glorious Lower Itchen imbued a great deal of respect between the coaches and a new found camaraderie.

I think it is these factors which make us the force that we are when tackling some of the trickier elements of young society, and taking angling into areas where it was seldom embraced before.

We were also thrilled to welcome the Angling Trust Southern Development Officer to our day. Graham is unquestionably a fabulous fisher and arguably an even greater communicator. We are incredibly grateful for his support on so many levels.

And then there is the lyric Lower Itchen Fishery… Gosh! What a playground.

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