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Kids need sturdy gear to go fishing

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013
Micheal Erueti-Heta, Ronan Turnbull
Simon Smith
RODS NEEDED: Micheal Erueti-Heta, 14, of Mangere, and Ronan Turnbull, 11, of Tuakau are hoping for some better fishing gear to use.

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A camp for disadvantaged children is asking for gear so its students can continue to learn the joy of fishing.

Many of the youngsters who attend Stand Children's Village in Half Moon Bay would otherwise never get the chance to catch a fish.

But transformation teacher Mr Lee says the camp's twice-a-week fishing unit is sometimes not offered as the gear is substandard and frustrating. The rods are flimsy and constantly break, and tackle is consistently lost.

"We are desperate because we want some decent rods and decent reels but we can't afford it," he says.

"We go through it very quickly because it gets tangled up with the seaweed and the rocks."

Stand Children's Services Auckland runs nine five-week camps a year. Each has three classes of a dozen students, and the classes share the same fishing gear.

Mr Lee is a keen fisherman and sometimes buys gear with his own money to keep the children fishing.

The Half Moon Bay man finds himself racing to untangle lines in time for the next class because of a lack of gear.

"It's a lot of work, but it's enjoyable for the kids."

Student Ronan Turnbull regularly attends the camp and says he enjoys fishing as it "doesn't feel like school".

The 11-year-old says he has caught "heaps" of fish, including a parore that almost got away as his reel jammed.

Mr Lee says the students take their rods to Bucklands Beach, Panmure or Maraetai, but first they learn how to tie on hooks, floats and sinkers as well as bait and cast.

They learn about different types of fish, rules and regulations and have an educational visit from the Ministry of Fisheries.

The camp would appreciate donations of rods a little larger and hardier than child-size.

It also needs line, sinkers, hooks, floats and swivels.

To make a donation call 550 4472.

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- Eastern Courier

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