Regular readers will remember the story I told you a few months ago when I was given the responsibility of collecting and disposing of the late David Winter’s collection of fishing tackle.
He asked me to do this a few months before he sadly passed away last year due to an asbestos-related disease, but he did stress at the time that he would like any funds that were raised to go towards the benefit of angling for juniors. Originally I thought that wouldn’t be a problem.
I would just hand it over to the Leeds Junior section but, in the meantime, that section has disbanded, so I was left with a problem of what do do with the cash. I did ask once in this column and twice at Leeds club delegates’ meetings if anyone had any ideas, but none were forthcoming so I was left with a problem.
The 2014 National Fishing Month was not too far away so I contacted a couple of old friends Tommy Pickering and his daughter Emma (who incidentally were both ex-world champions) to attend five of the training days which were to be held at the Kippax Park complex. Of course they had to be paid but then came the problem of what to do with most of the cash.
So I decided to hold a competition in conjunction with the fishing month.
I had a few hundred forms printed and asked any children who attended the training sessions to fill them in with all their details and then at the end of the month 20 names would be selected at a random draw with the lucky ones going on an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Fish O’Mania final at the Cudmore fishery in Staffordshire. I spoke to quite a few people at the time and they thought that it was a great idea and the kids would enjoy watching the top stars in action.
I could not have been more wrong, as child protection is now a major issue. To take charge of a bunch of kids these days is a legal minefield. A few years ago all that would have been required would have been someone in charge with a check list. Not now, and for obvious reasons. On the forms that I mentioned earlier I did say that each child must be accompanied by a responsible adult, preferably a parent.
But that is not good enough. All adults have to be checked out and have full clearance documentation from the appropriate authority and should anything go wrong then I, as the organiser, would be directly responsible.
So, reluctantly there has been a change of plan. After consulting a couple of colleagues at the Leeds Club I have decided to make substantial donations to the Wakefield and Barnsley clubs, who both have successful junior sections, and also to the Bathampton club where David was a member for many years when he worked in the area.
To all juniors still attending the training sessions, keep on filling in the forms because any funds that are left will be spent on a good number of £20 fishing tackle vouchers which will be sent to the lucky winner. A reminder that Emma Pickering will be attending on August 20 and 27.