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Upminster fishing academy: Anglers may head home empty-handed but also clear-headed

PUBLISHED: 10:13 08 September 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 08 September 2014

Martin Roessler, organiser. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Martin Roessler, organiser. Picture: Sandra Rowse

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To say fishing is not all about the catch may sound like a poor excuse from an angler returning home after a bad day.

ALAN PARMENTER Picture: Sandra RowseALAN PARMENTER Picture: Sandra Rowse

But in the case of the Kevin Green Angling Academy this really is the case.

The coaches there are helping young offenders to get back on track and are relieving army veterans of their traumas.

The academy launched last Friday at Puddledock Farm Fishery, St Marys Lane, Upminster, and is seeking more members, whether they are amateurs wanting professional training or people with particular needs seeking lakeside relaxation.

Cpl Alan Parmenter, 58, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after a nightmarish incident where he nearly shot a child dead in Northern Ireland.

Alan Parmenter and Jane Dighton. Picture: Sandra RowseAlan Parmenter and Jane Dighton. Picture: Sandra Rowse

He was patrolling in Belfast when he saw a rifle barrel poke round the corner of a wall. He waited, chose his moment, and grabbed the barrel, holding his own rifle with his finger on the trigger.

“I noticed it was a kid. My safety was off,” he said as he breathed a sigh of relief that he did not pull the trigger.

The child was carrying a realistic-looking model gun, said Cpl Parmenter, who was also “blown up” twice while fighting.

The veteran lives in ex-service personnel shelter Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions, Fulham, and visited the academy on its opening day. He now plans to go back regularly. “It’s relaxing,” he said. “It’s stressful getting it all set up but it’s great when you have.”

Puddleduck Farm Fishery. Picture: Sandra RowsePuddleduck Farm Fishery. Picture: Sandra Rowse

The beauty of the academy, which was set up in honour of the late former fishing magazine editor Kevin Green, is that experienced coaches are on hand to instruct the anglers and help relieve the stress of knot-tying and weight balancing.

Another angler waiting for a big catch was 13-year-old Dylan Mills, of Cranham. He was visiting as part of a young offenders programme and is hoping the hobby will give him focus. “I’ve been getting in trouble,” he said. “But It’s calming me down and makes me relax.”

Lylie Frost, of Thurrock’s youth offending team, was there to check out the academy with the children. She said: “They come to us for negative reasons, but it’s great to get them into positive things. Some don’t have a positive thing in their lives. But they can come here and get catching.”

Martin Roessler is the chairman of the academy and has a real passion for the sport, and wants others to as well.

Kevin Green

The academy was named after the former editor of the Improve Your Coarse Fishing magazine, Kevin Green.

He had a great passion for encouraging other people to join the sport, but sadly he passed away last year at 40.

Martin Roessler, and the rest of the academy, decided to name it after Kevin because of his love for including others and also to help his name live on.

Kevin also worked for Sky Sports and was a keen angling coach and a great supporter of National Fishing Month.

Naidre Werner, chairman of the Angling Trades Association who worked with Kevin for many years, said: “The angling community will be an emptier place without the patience, creativity, honesty and good humour of Kevin.

“He was easy to like – in fact, I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like him.

“I’m delighted that this new angling academy project will be launched to honour his good name and create a vehicle for people to learn to fish.”

“You might have all the problems in the world but when you set your mind on battling a fish it’s just calm and relaxing,” he said.

Martin and the team are offering free tuition thanks to a Sport England grant and donations from the 
Angling Trades Association, the Professional Anglers 
Association and recruitment company cer.

For futher details call 07760 373070, or email kgaa@outlook.com.

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