AN outstanding girl angler, 17-year-old Corina Smith, trained under Durham PC
She and three other teenagers trained under the scheme, all from Co. Durham, will not only be displaying their angling skills at the fair but will also offer “hands on” advice to any of the young spectators watching them.
Their appearance, giving a welcome to the “young idea” in fishing, is among many special features celebrating the silver jubilee of the fair, held over the weekend of May 22 and 23 on the Chatsworth House estate near Bakewell, Derbyshire.
Although she prefers coarse angling, everyone in the “Get Hooked on Fishing” scheme becomes an all-rounder, able to go out and catch fish in every season of the year. The three other members of the Chatsworth team are:
Wayne Collins, 16, from Bishop Auckland, a pupil at Bishop Barrington school, who will be paying his second visit to the fair. Now sponsored by the “Masterline” fishing tackle company, he is equally at home with double-hander salmon rod or trotting with a centrepin.
Paul Soulsby, also 16, a student at
Jonathan Boulton, aged 14, from Sunnydale school, Shildon, who joined the scheme only four months ago but showed such great promise as a coarse angler that he, too, has already been enrolled to teach other children.
Corina, who is still at college in Stoke, also works as a volunteer for the SAFE project (Safe Angling For Everyone), teaching children how to fish – and especially what safety precautions to observe.
The “Get Hooked on Fishing” scheme is now backed by the Environment Agency, the Countryside Alliance, the ACA (Anglers’ Conservation Association), and many other key public and private bodies.
“In its first two years,” he said, “the scheme involved some 200 youngsters aged between 10 and 16, from a cross-section of social backgrounds. Of those, 65 had been classed by various official bodies as being ‘at risk’ of falling into crime. I’m glad to say that, after taking part in the scheme, not one of the 65 got into trouble.”
Although “Get Hooked on Fishing” was intended at first only for young people in his own county, its success led to him being seconded afterwards to establish the scheme in six other areas:
In the 2003 New Year’s Honours List, his work was recognised by the award of the coveted Queen’s Police Medal.