Win-win at the Vaal for anglers with disabilities

The South African Sport Anglers and Casting Confederation hosted its fourth Sport Fishing World Games in South Africa. The South African Freshwater Bank Angling Federation (SAFBAF) ensured that persons with disabilities could have their day in the sun at this major event and help create awareness about how people with disabilities can compete – and conquer – in this sport.

Six teams competed at Moolman’s Farm on the banks of the Vaal Dam in the Free State, where various fish species such as carp, mudfish, catfish and grass carp can be caught. The teams were made up of one person from each of the five categories listed below:

Category 1: Quadriplegics and persons who don’t have hand function and cannot cast for themselves

Category 2: Paraplegics

Category 3: Blind anglers and anglers who have lost a limb

Category 4: Anglers with a minimum disability

Category 5: Anglers who are deaf or partially deaf

A number of QASA members participated in the first two categories, including Riaan Bornman (first place), Piet de Wit (third place) and Corne Lubbe (sixth place). Congratulations to all the anglers and the organisers – this was indeed a great achievement for people with disabilities!

Two of the anglers provided the following feedback:

“This is my fourth year fishing in champions. Every year the competition gets tougher and tougher, but it’s still one of the most fun sports to participate in. I would encourage any person with a disability to join a team in their region.

“We have adapted equipment to make it possible for any person with a disability to enjoy this sport. Like they say: ‘A bad day’s fishing is better than a good day at the office.’”
– Riaan Bornman, fishing for SAFBAF A Team

“It was a great privilege and honour to participate as an angler in the World Games at Moolman’s. This is my fourth year involved in this unique sport. The first year I was in the A Team and we only competed to obtain our provincial colours.

“The following year I competed and won the SAFBAF competition, where I was in the B Team. The third year I competed in the Rainbow A Team. My personal opinion is that this is the ideal sport for people with disabilities. It is a very relaxing sport, where you are in nature and you can break away from the normal daily routines at home.

“It stimulates your brain, as you need to think and plan the type of bait and fishing gear. Nothing compares to the excitement and feeling of adrenalin once you catch a fish.”
– Piet de Wit, quadriplegic from Category 1

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