Fishing for Schools – and Castaway – is small fry. It has been said many times that we punch above our collective weight. So we do… and whilst the day-to-day team might be just Catrin and I, we are fortunate to be able to draw down on the support of a formidable team: Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, Tim Bonner, Finance Director (and Chair of TCAF) Andrew Ogg, the geniuses within IT and Media Lauren Hall, Daisy Bashford, Mo Metcalf Fisher et all. We are that rare thing, a collective that just gets on with the business of making things happen.
Bringing success to the classroom and the banks side through a prodigiously committed set of coaches and the results and the plaudits speak for themselves. But that is not all…
Supporting and underpinning all that effort is an army of friends, supporters and ambassadors; people who not only believe in what we do, but are prepared to put their collective shoulder to the wheel of what we do! For the collective good of Fishing for Schools.
There can be no finer testament to that, than the recent St Trout’s Day competition and fundraising even held at the near indiscernibly lovely Brick Hill Trout Fishery, stepped into the leafy High Weald just out side of Herstmonceux in Sussex.
Brick Farm now belongs to Fishing for Schools Ambassadors Phil and Danni Axel who, together with their parents and young assistants (children), have devoted so much effort and dedication to not just the fishery and its excellence, but also aided Fishing for Schools so much.
Light hearted competitions are just that, but to have world renowned fishers present to run casting competitions is a real bonus. So to Rob Barden - thank you. Then to have the support of Ambassadors Dave Woods, Jo and Henry Cullen (with Vince!), the true friends of what we do, Kieren Nason, Mark Roberts and our esteemed coaches Pat Kellegher, Bob Goble and Lee Hooper added to the mix, it was a recipe for a great day
This wonderfully successful day saw us raise over £1,000 through the raffle(with more to come yet) and Henry Cullen, aged 13, win the fly casting distance and land the biggest trout of the entire competition, and Phoebe Parker, aged 16, win the accuracy. And they said that there are no youngsters in our sport...
But with the spring happiness comes a little sadness.
John Proctor one of our past coaches
from the West Country, has sadly made his last cast having suffered a fairly long illness. John, whenever coaching with us, was the consummate professional and so patient with young people – all the students, without reservation, warming to his gentle, kind, expert approach by the water side.
John Proctor was awarded 'Coach of the Year' a little time ago - which was thoroughly deserved – and we shall miss him.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family at this sad time, and we are all thankful for knowing him and being with this fine angling coach.
So with a phenomenally busy time ahead I wish you all – especially those of you who trout fish – the best season that you have ever had.
Have a very Happy Easter.