MORE than two-dozen people who took part in an innovative Fermoy-based scheme aimed at promoting angling among the disabled community were presented with their certificates of participation last Friday.
The ground-breaking 'Angling For All' project saw people from across the county cast their lines into the River Blackwater in Fermoy, one of only two dedicated Centres of Excellence for disabled anglers in Ireland.
Bob Seaward of the Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers of Ireland explained that the project offered people a welcome opportunity to get a taste for the sport under the guidance of certified coaches.
"The scheme offered participants a chance to try out the sport and hopefully encourage them continue angling as a hobby," said Mr Seaward.
The two centres in Fermoy and on the River Suck in Roscommon were developed as hubs for the initiative, which a total of ten Angling for All initiatives take place across the country.
Mr Seaward said that under the initiative angling clubs across the country have been asked to restructure their activities to include disabled anglers.
"They are encouraged to train up members to become coaches. Those who have already taken up coaching have said they get a great sense of achievement through their involvement," he said.
Deputy Tom Barry and Fermoy mayor Olive Corcoran were on hand to congratulate the 25 participants in the Fermoy and present them with their certificates.
Cllr Corcoran was impressed with the project, describing it as "one of the best initiatives to have taken place in Fermoy for a long, long time."
Deputy Barry was so impressed he was even considering trying out the sport himself.
"This is a great initiative, something that can be built upon for the benefit of everyone. I might even try and learn to fish myself," he quipped.