The year is 1996. Three local anglers are at New Mills near Brampton and are in deep discussion about how they can contribute to the sport they love by introducing youngsters into angling.
In true ‘Mission Impossible’ style, someone gives them the challenge – introduce 20,000 youngsters, from all sorts of backgrounds, to angling.
Now knowing the three anglers well, I think that, had that challenge been given now, they would have run a mile.
Fast forward to 2022. That is exactly what the intrepid threesome have done. Chris Bowman, Glyn Freeman and Clive Mitchelhill (all successful AAPGAI / angling instructors in their own right) have introduced over 24,000 youngsters to most of the different aspects of the sport over the last 25 years. A tremendous achievement.
In an area covering from Lancaster in the south to Girvan in the south west of Scotland and over to Northumbria, Borderlines have worked with many different groups and institutions.
Schools, academies, youth clubs and colleges. Angling trusts, fishing clubs and local authorities including the police. The disabled, terminally ill and young offenders – it would probably be easier to list who Borderlines haven’t worked with than who they have.
Within the team lies an abundance of fishing knowledge. They have delivered sessions in all aspects of angling from game and coarse angling to sea fishing and specimen hunting – everything that anyone wanted to do has been catered for. Angling careers develop in many ways and so showing youngsters as many different aspects as possible so they can make their mind up how they progress is really important.
And it is not only the youngsters themselves who have been trained during the sessions. Parents of keen youngsters have also been taught as much about the sport as the youngsters themselves – Borderlines philosophy is that they can’t be there all the time so the parents have an important role to play if the youngsters are to be successful.
In recent times, the south west of Scotland around Dumfries has been the main area of focus. The Nith Trust – headed by Jim Henderson, (a director of Borderlines since 2006) and Debbie Parke, have been running two major projects – ‘Fishing for the Future’ which delivers fishing and environmental training to junior schools and the ‘Nith Young Anglers Club’ have been massively successful projects.
It is with The Nith Trust that the Borderlines legacy lives on. They will continue to run both projects from now on while the Borderlines Team put their feet up and enjoy a well earned retirement. Who knows, they may even get to do some fishing themselves.
As company secretary since 2018, I, along with Roger Smith another local angling instructor, have been privileged to have worked with the guys from the Borderlines team and honestly believe that the areas youngsters couldn’t have been in better hands.
Well done to you all – mission accomplished !!!
A very big thank you with much appreciation to all that have been so generous to sponsor Borderlines over the years, it could not have been done without you!
Derek KellyAAPGAI instructor and Borderlines Secretary.