St George Sportfishing Club to the rescue
BEING one of the oldest Sportfishing Clubs in Sydney is only achieved if you can prove that your group has the right vision and community spirit to go the distance and St George Sportfishing Club definitely has the goods.
Recently St George SFC members teamed up with Fishing 4 Therapy, a programme run by the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA NSW), designed to help the disabled participate in fishing programmes that are combined with a rehabilitation or therapy based concepts.
The day was supported by Talos Insurance and Risk Solutions, as well as the programmes hosting partner Centennial Parklands, who kindly allowed the day to be held in their beautiful parklands.
Guests for the day were from Share Care Inc. a not for profit organisation who provides support services to over 450 families who have children with varying disabilities. Their services range from day care for younger children, education and learning experiences for children and young adults as well as much needed respite for their families.
Having recently met with the executive team at Share Care, ST George SFC & Fishing 4 Therapy, coordinated a day out for the children. Several bus loads arrived with keen and eager faces greeting the waiting volunteers. Wheelchairs were seen scurrying over the grass to get the best vantage spots – nothing was holding them back. The group consisted of over 50 attendees and their carers who were treated to a fishing session and a bbq at lunch time. They were also able to feed the ducks, swans and new cygnets hatchlings, even the odd turtle came for a look.
The day was filled with screams of joy and laughter as fish were caught and photos taken to help the day last a life time.
John Lupton, Sponsorship Coordinator for Share Care and their CEO Claire Pearson, along with carers, were commenting on the positive reaction from their attendees who were also experiencing a social activity that is usually not available to them. They were able to interact on a new level with different faces and in a no pressure environment. For a brief moment in time their disabilities were forgotten as they brought in the fish of a life time and then got to brag to anyone who would listen and sometimes those who wouldn’t.
One of the keen fishos, who would not take no for an answer, insisted on getting out of his wheelchair and sitting on a chair by the bank so as to try his hand at catching a carp and being like the guys he see’s on TV. Others were happy to sit on the pond edge and count the ducks swimming by with some achieving counting numbers in excess of anything they achieve out loud in the classroom.
Everyone attending also received a small tackle bag, hat and stickers that were donated by Shimano. We should also point out that fishing in the Park is usually not allowed and was arranged by Tony Steiner from Fishing 4 Therapy & Centennial Parklands as a special experience for the kids.
Sunny outdoor fun, take home goodies and a great bbq is the making for anyone’s perfect day, but it was best summed up by one of the kids who declared it as the best day of their life. You just can't get a better rap than that.
For more information, please visit www.stgeorgesfc.com.au or www.ansansw.com.au.