South Yorkshire youngsters fish for success at summer holiday activity sessions

Pictured are club members Ryan Sillitoe (back) and left to right Cory Kelly, Coben Clark and PCSO Ian Warhurst.
Pictured are club members Ryan Sillitoe (back) and left to right Cory Kelly, Coben Clark and PCSO Ian Warhurst.

A group of Doncaster youngsters have fallen hook, line and sinker for a summer fishing project.

The teenagers attend a weekly club at Martinwells Lake in Edlington which is run by South Yorkshire Police throughout the school summer holidays.

The sessions form part of SportFX South Yorkshire, a scheme that offers free football, boxing and dance classes for ten to 19-year-olds.

Police community support officer Craig Butcher, who manages SportFXSY, said: “The junior fishing club aims to engage young people during the school holidays and teach them new skills.

“It is a fantastic project and we have been overwhelmed by the response from the Edlington community, in particular Frank and Jean Bucknall from LongLees Farm.

“Not only did they kindly allow us the free use of their beautiful little pond, they also provided lunch for the participants and volunteers.”

Now in its third year, the club runs every Saturday from 10am until 1pm and is funded through St Leger Homes and Friends of Matinwells Lake. It is delivered by PCSO Ian Warhurst and supported by volunteers.

PCSO Butcher added: “Ian works extremely hard and has developed a fantastic relationship with the young people who take part.

“The success of the club is testament to his understanding and professionalism as well as the attitude and dedication of the young people who are a credit to their community.

“They have shown real enthusiasm for the sport and seem to really enjoy being part of the scheme.”

Sport FX SY was launched in Goldthorpe, Barnsley, in 2010 to encourage young people to steer away from anti-social behaviour and channel their energy into sport, fitness and control.

The football sessions were so successful, contributing to a 50 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour in the first year, that in 2013 the scheme was developed at venues across the county.

Over the last year the scheme has expanded to offer dance and boxing sessions as well as the fishing club during the summer holidays. All sports sessions are open to any young person aged ten to 19.