It was a big night when Fishers with Disabilities held its annual celebration late last month, ushering in a new era for the program that helps people with disabilities enjoy recreational fishing.
The important program that reflects the intrinsic value of recreational fishing in the community has blossomed under the guidance of executive officer Di Bruce.
More than 80 people attended, including several Government dignitaries. Held at the Royal Perth Yacht Club, it was an informal gathering and included the launch of a new promotional DVD and the introduction of the program’s new ambassador.
Its new website at www.fisherswithdisabilities.org.au was also unveiled during the evening and went live the following day.
A number of members of the family of the founder of the program, Neville Thomas, were there and they saw the inaugural Nev Thomas Award handed to long-time volunteer Ray Benetti.
Ray was extremely emotional during the presentation but is a key member of the community that commits so much time and effort towards this great inititative.
The inspirational Jayne Parsons was named as the new ambassador. Jayne lost sight in both eyes in her early 20s due to domestic violence, but fought back to become a paralympic cyclist. She moved to Mandurah from New Zealand 18 months ago and embraced fishing as a pastime, getting involved with Fishers with Disabilities. Jayne has previously been an ambassador for several sports.
It was also revealed that Fishers with Disabilities would next year drive a new Fish 4 All, state-wide fishing event on one day for all fishers.
The day is aimed to encourage people to go fishing and take a friend, especially someone socially isolated or disabled.
It will be held at major sites all around WA and be promoted on social media, and is set to be held in 2016.
There are still more exciting pieces to the puzzle to announce in 2015 for Fishers with Disabilities, and with more people with disabilities hitting the water on the two purpose built fishing vessels or from safe fishing locations, all fishers around the state should be excited about what’s to come. Watch this space!