27 July, 2017 | Match & Coarse | News0 Comments
This year’s Toot Hill Great Rod race, part of the Bingham-based school’s activities week, was sadly a rather bitter sweet affair for the 20 pupils in attendance.
Even though the event was supported by several top local match anglers and sponsored by companies like Dynamite Baits, Shimano, Future Fishing and Portland Fishing Lakes – where the event was held – there was unfortunately one pupil missing.
Tragically killed last year in a hit and run accident, Jack Archer was a popular student, one who loved his fishing as well as attending and competing in this yearly event.
To honour Jack, his parents, in association with the school, introduced a special award, the Jack Archer Memorial Cup, which would be presented to the pupil who demonstrated outstanding perseverance and determination throughout the entire event.
The winner being chosen by the teachers and match-angling volunteers.
This year the prize went to Ethan Cooney.
“The event runs Wednesday to Friday and then the following Monday,” Mr Chris Ritzmann, one of the school’s activity leaders said.
“For me, Ethan won it on the Thursday, when the event was held on the Grantham Canal. It bucketed down all day and by the end only five children remained fishing, including Ethan, who didn’t have a single fish all day. But he told me that that just made him feel more determined to catch he following day.”
To help the event run smoothly, several top local match anglers attend the event. As well as helping the children set-up their tackle and showing them how to catch fish, they also helped to organise the bumper pile of prizes kindly donated by the event sponsors.
“I first got involved with the event in 2002,” Mark Perkins said.
“At that time, I was approached by keen anglers and teachers at the school, James Crabtree and Paul Clarke to help put a team together for the School’s National Angling Competition. That first year, my daughter Sammie won this, the next two years it was won by Matt Gibbs, both of which have gone on to great things in the angling industry Sammie has even fished for her country on several occasions.”
The event, held every year as part of the school’s activities week, allows students of all abilities to experience fishing and all that goes with it – patience and an appreciation of the countryside.
“I’m not an angler myself, but I’m proud to have been involved with the Rod Race for the last decade,” Chris added.
“Over the years’, we have been able to introduce more than 200 pupils to the joys of this great sport. As well as the ‘experts’, Mark Perkins, his Brother Rob, Neil Fisher, Gerald King, Dave Scott and my fellow Toot Hill teacher, Mr Lawrence, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the sponsors who gave around £1000 each in various prizes to be given out to the children. It has been a really great event once again, I only wish young Jack could have been with us.”