Wellingborough anglers hope to land van funds

The vehicle is needed to transport the equipment used at riverbank teaching events

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 1:10 pm
l-r Pat Byrne and Bryan Dray

Fishing coaches with an angling club based in Wellingborough have appealed for help to fund a much-needed van to carry their equipment

Wellingborough and Nene District Angling Club (WNDAC) members Bryan Dray and Pat Byrne teach fishing under a scheme sponsored by two fishing organisations.

Their sessions have caught budding anglers' imaginations so much that they can no longer fit all their teaching paraphernalia in their cars.

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Breaming smile - Bryan with a bream

Angling Trust Level Two qualified coach Bryan said: "When I took over the junior section of the club we had 40 members. That has now more than quadrupled to 176 juniors.

"We have 2,000 members in total, the second biggest club in the UK, fishing 13 lakes and 25 miles of canals and rivers, most of which we own."

WNDAC run their own events, as well as taking part in the Let's Fish scheme run by the Angling Trust and the Canal & River Trust, setting up their equipment on banksides along the Nene Valley.

They also run events working with vulnerable groups and part of their qualification takes them through risk assessments, first aid and being DBS checked.

Bryan, 55, said: "Last year, we ran nearly 60 coaching events for the trusts, Nenescape, Northamptonshire Carers, Northamptonshire Young Carers, Voluntary Impact and the Bridge project as well as much smaller groups.

"These events help anyone who firstly wants to try out fishing and secondly want to improve their fishing.

"Everyone is welcome and we try and make these events as entertaining as we can, from fun and games at the registration desk, to tackle sales, and advice.

"However, we are at a tipping point where our own vehicles are now no longer large enough to maintain the standard we have set ourselves.

"We are trying to raise funds to buy a cheap, second-hand van that will enable us to continue delivering the maximum number of events that we can each year."

Bryan and Pat have dedicated themselves to pass on their love of fishing and the great outdoors to the next generation.

He added: "When you see a child plunge their hand into some maggots for the first time or catch a fish for the first time it's worth it.

"Nationwide there is a five per cent return rate of people who engage with angling. We have a 30 per cent rate.

"We've been called the Chuckle Brothers - if the kids aren't enjoying it they won't come back."

They hope to raise £2,000 to purchase a transit-style van.

To donate to Bryan and Pat please go to their go fund me page.

Click here for more information about Wellingborough and Nene District Angling Club .