Angling centre for the disabled will change lives

Angling centre for the disabled will change lives

A brand new angling facility on the river Moy in County Mayo, Ireland, looks set to change the lives of disabled anglers. Local enthusiasts are delighted but the facility could attract anglers from across the country and also the UK.

Angling centre for the disabled will change lives

New facility in County Mayo

The East Mayo Anglers’ Association disabled facility was recently opened by Michael Ring, the Irish Minister for Rural and Community development. It’s difficult for disabled anglers to find sites with easy access. One local enthusiast expressed his delight at the new facility because his father had been struggling to get him to the water. Lester Cassidy had an accident at work during which he broke his back and was left paralysed from the waist down. Fishing was always Lester’s passion and his father has been building various contraptions to help get his fishing gear to the river.

Lester will no longer have to rely on his father when he feels the urge to fish and believes that the sport is good for the mental health of all disabled participants. His belief is supported by many studies which have demonstrated that participating in sport, spending time in the great outdoors and socialising are all important to everyone’s wellbeing.

Funding the project

Launching the facility, Michael Ring praised the funding provided by Inland Fisheries Ireland via the National Strategy for Angling Development. This accounted for 90 per cent of the required cash with the rest of the money having been generated by the fishing club itself.

Making changes

The project has seen the construction of a 75-metre boardwalk with ramps and railings to create safe and easy access to the river for all. New changing facilities were created and upgrades made to the car park. The toilet facilities were an issue as the facility didn’t have planning permission for any buildings but a compromise was reached following negotiations and this allowed construction to proceed. The relatively simple yet incredibly effective changes to the site have made all the difference to disabled anglers.

The benefits of angling

There has been a great deal of interest in the project from the British and Northern Ireland disabled angling associations. Hopefully, this innovative development will inspire similar projects elsewhere. Angling is a sport that many disabled participants can enjoy but could also be crucial to their recovery process and mental health. A relatively small investment can yield enormous benefits for many people.

The pick of the water

The portion of the River Moy selected for the disabled facility is one of the best available. Disabled anglers and juniors can look forward to taking advantage of a safe environment but also one which will yield exciting catches. The disabled don’t have to settle for second best here and can truly make the most of their hobby. The facility may inspire many new anglers to try a new hobby and quite possibly to change their lives for good.