Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Angling: Disabled anglers enjoy a fun day

The families at the Waterwork's Fishing and Outdoors Club have hosted a session for disabled anglers on the recently completed stands on the upper pond.

These stands provide easy access to the disabled and wheelchair-bound anglers who previously were unable to get close enough to the water's edge to participate in fishing events.

The club has been campaigning within Belfast City Council over a number of years to provide facilities for disabled access and after eventually gaining permission to seek funding were successful in their application with Urban II.

The landscape department of Belfast City Council provided the expertise and worked in conjunction with the club committee, while the funders provided £52,000 to complete the construction work.

November 16 saw the first of what the club hope will be many visits by anglers with various disabilities. The first session was a great day for all involved with club members in attendance to make sure everything went smoothly and providing all the equipment including lifejackets.

Participants - Hugh Brannigan, Sean O'Neill, Larry Anderson, Herbie Irons and Robert Wilmot - clearly enjoyed the session as they wished to know when they could return another day.

Organisers of the trip were Clare Lagan of Face Inclusive Matters, Rab McQuiston of North Belfast Sports Forum and Jimmy Duffin of Clifton Nursing Home. FATW's volunteers for the day included Paddy, Tom, Mick, Jeff, Hugh and Gerard.

The club intends to continually improve the facility and will be actively seeking further funding to create a facility of the highest quality. Also, the continual stocking of Rainbow trout has just been bolstered by a further £1,000 worth of trout released into the upper pond last Saturday.

The next winter activity will take place towards the end of the month when an Open Pike competition will be held.

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