January seems to have disappeared in a flash. The beginning of the year is normally a time for new beginnings. That’s easier said than done though! This is also the time for many organisations to go through their AGM and this was the case with The Polish Anglers Association in the UK. I can’t believe the first year of our existence went by so quick. What’s even more surprising, is the fact that I survived one year as a president of the club, without any attempts to overthrow me! (well at least I am not aware of any).
We have managed to achieve quite few positive things during the year and most important we have gelled as a team and we are quickly getting out from under the massive umbrella of ‘Eastern European’ poachers. A few days before our AGM I decided to put myself on the front line again and placed my candidature for a president. This time I was full of new ideas for the next twelve months and I hoped that PAA members would buy into some of them. Election Day came along very quickly and to my surprise I was the only candidate for the position! Wow! What a result! To add to my happiness we all voted to extend the term of office to two years rather than one as per our initial set up. So I will be leading our organisation to get better integration with local anglers and educate more and more newcomers about British fishing law and culture. We were soon discussing in detail the various plans to take the Association forward and I was blown away by the massive amount of ideas which we proposed. Some of them relate to the internal procedures but others cover things like marketing and cooperation with other local angling clubs. I can clearly see there is an interest and willingness within the Polish community to reach out to the local angling clubs and other angling related organisations. We decided to continue and extend our cooperation with The Pike Angling Club of Great Britain, we will support The Angling Trust in many different ways and we hope to work more closely with the Lure Anglers Society.
Many of our members expressed interest in joining the Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service as they are also fed up with fellow country man stealing fish and giving migrant anglers a bad name. Let’s hope the service is extended beyond the South East this year, so that the whole country can benefit. We have also been thinking about how to attract more youngsters to the sport and discussing an option of more family fishing events organised in different regions of the country. I picture the idea in my head – what about getting some Polish guys to complete angling coaching training so they can deliver on the ground – that means more research for me but it can be done! I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a busy year ! Now that the AGM is over I’m busy putting together an action plan where one of the main tasks will be finding some local clubs who have an interest in getting some of migrant anglers involved. So if you heard about any clubs looking for help just let me know………..After all we are all anglers and we all love fishing, so there is no reason for migrant anglers and UK anglers to be “poles apart” ! You can contact Rado by emailing Radoslaw.Papiewski@Anglingtrust.net You can take a look at the Polish Anglers Association Website at http://polish-anglers-association.co.uk
Rado Papiewski works full time for the Angling Trust as their Building Bridges Officer, His work involves helping to educate migrant anglers about English fishing law, rules and culture. He also works closely with Dilip Sarkar the Angling Trusts Fishery Enforcement Officer and the Environment Agency to help reduce fishery crime and integrate Polish and other migrant anglers into the UK fishing scene.
Group photo by Dariusz Gorgon