All Hands to the Decks
(As we Set Sail On another Pass It on Young Sports Year)
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As the title suggests, we launched the good Ship Pass It On Young Sports yet again back in February 2017, she is truly a mighty vessel and glorious in all her splendour, she had spent the winter docked in port in gods county of Somersetshire, for some repairs re stocking and preparing and training her crew for yet another year on the high seas inspiring the young sports and beyond.
We set sail as always with The British Shooting Show set firmly on our port bow, I must say as the crew mustered to the call to arms as we brought this mighty ship about, her sheer magnificent beauty really stood out magnificently as the wind filled her sails and the Young Sports rallied to her flag, I say with a tear in my eye she really fills my heart with pride, for I captain this beloved ship, I have always commanded with one mission, the Young Sports and their education and inspiration must and will always come first.
We must send a massive thank you to Peter and Eddie and the members of NVUK, they clubbed together and Donated Pass It On Young Sports £100, here they are in the seminar area at the BSS presenting me live on my stage show with the NVUK cheque, to find them look for NVUK on face book or twitter etc.
We sailed right into the BSS Port with her sails filled with the wind at our backs and her flags and colors displaying for all to see, we docked at Stoneleigh Park and went ashore the crew eager to build our stand, I must say this year the BSS looked simply stunning, John & Annie and their crew had done a magnificent job, the atmosphere at the show was simply buzzing with excitement.
We met lots of old friends and made some new ones, we built our stand in record time and well what can I say she looked absolutely brilliant, I must admit its always a bit hit and miss job building our first stand of the year, but this year just went like clock work, and team PIOYS 2017 have really gelled too, we have a mix of old heads and some youth with us this year learning the ropes and passing on their skills etc.
This year I was split between the exhibition area in hall 5 and our stand in hall 4, my team really stepped up to the plate as they had to cover the stand in my absence over the 3 days, I really must say mere words do not do my team justice, Greg was in charge of the technical side of things for me on stage in the exhibition area, whilst he did all the computer stuff the music running the big screens etc, I did what I do best and entertained the crowds for all 3 days in my slots in there and back on the stand.
My ole mucker Jason Salkey and I at The British shooting show 2017, most will know Jason as Rifleman Harris from the awesome TV programme Sharp with Sean Bean and many other great actors and actresses in it too.
One kid springs to mind, I had his big sister and some other kids learning how to use my game calls etc up on stage, I could see he was bursting to get up on stage with his sister, but his mum had him sat down with a warning don’t move a muscle, me being me noticing him and I love a kid with spirit said er Mum would the boy like to come up too, NO his Mum said in a stern voice he is a night mare, ahhhh he be reet Mum were country boys, he came up ran around kicked me on the leg and dismantled my deer call and ran off ahhhhhh, his Mum was so red faced and embarrassed.
The crowd went into hysterics and I had tears running down my face laughing my head off, don’t ever work with kids or animals it turns into a comedy, it could not of gone any better as that’s entertainment, we had a standing ovation with cheers from the huge crowd we had attracted, the big sister was not happy though as she said he is so embarrassing he is always being a pain, I said get used to it kid you have a lifetime of having a spirited brother, absolutely brilliant I thought.
I saw the family on our stand a few hours later and he was made to say sorry, through gritted teeth he did, I saw the twinkle in his eye his devil horns were pushing his halo off, I ruffled his hair gave him a cheeky wink like my Pappy would do to me and gave him and his sister a hand full of sweets out of our trick or treat jar, Mum would not stop saying sorry, I said tiz better to have a spirited kid than one who is a shy corner mouse Mother, I am not sure she agreed with me at all.
We also did a meet the field sports stars on our stand from 1pm until 2pm each day, that was a huge hit and if you watch our video(at the bottom of this article) or look at the pics on our face book page you will see for yourself, I must send a massive thank you to Andy Crow (Crow Man) and his Family, Geoff Garrod and his family, Dave Carrie and His family, Terry Doe, Eddie Jones, Mick Garvey, Matt Manning, The Squirrel Hunter Crew and oh so many more sporting stars that came too, you made the young sports and their families and several disabled sportsmen’s weekend I telle muckers, top drawer and proper job muckers for helping and supporting what we do.
We finished the BSS 2017 high spirited and hearts full of heart tokens as we call them, the show was simply awesome and I cant thank team BSS enough, you guys and Gals did a brilliant Job, next year we will see you at the new venue of the NEC Birmingham and we cant wait I telle, We climbed back aboard ship lifted the anchor and dropped sails and headed back to my beloved West Country.
The next show we set sail to and docked in was a local one, that is The West Of England Game and Country Fair, Held at The Royal Bath & West Show Ground in Shepton Mallet Somerset in early March 2017, as luck would have it one of our team lives in Shepton Mallet so we all crashed at Kevin’s House.
We got to our normal spot and set up as we always do, joining us this time was Pete Dodsworth from NVUK, his stand was a great addition as it was informative and helped explain the correct way to use night vision etc, this next to my NiteSite Stand with Nigel Jones (The every day hunter) helping me talk to the public about the awesome NiteSite system and spotters really were a massive draw.
Chris Park was there with his ancient English knife making demo etc, all in all the stand looked simply stunning if I say so myself, oh and of course I was there book signing too all of my 6 books, all available from www.theoutpostshop.co.uk with all the money going to Pass It On young sports to help be able to put our Taster Days On.
All the team did a brilliant job and our stand was literally rammed full of families young sports and fellow muckers all weekend, my main ring demos were a massive hit as I invited what started off to be 6 kids in the ring, but actually ended up being over 20 as they just kept coming and coming, Charlie Jacoby (field sports channel) calls me the pied piper of field sports.
The kids came from all over the place to join me in the ring, so what started off as a simple game calling demo soon turned into an hilarious wildfowling/pigeon shooting corvid hunting demo with all the kids being the stars of the show, the crowd grew and grew around the ring and what was supposed to be a 20 minuet demo turned into an hour long stage show celebrating field sports with the kids as the main cast and me being master of ceremonies sat on a bale of straw.
I must say that is how I like my show a simple rough plan that can be built on, I like to educate inspire and entertain, you the punters of the show deserve that as that is one reason why you pay to go to a show not just go around a glorified car boot sale.
The West Country Game fair is one of the finest shows in the country if I say so myself, the fact its what I call my home county show has nothing to do with it, I must congratulate Lisa and her team you guys did a brilliant job again this years, I say bring on 2018 I will see you there, the more muckers the better and don’t forget to bring your young sports too.
The first taster day of the year as always was at Jackland’s Fishing Lakes near Nailsea in early April 2017, the sun shone glorious as This Mighty Ship Pass It On Young Sports sailed in to dock at port ready to set the day up, we had fly and course fishing/bush craft/archery and catapults, Air Rifle and Air Pistol shooting ferrets and birds of prey and oh so much more, the fishery looked stunning in the early morning sun as the smoke from the bush craft fire pit filled the air with that aroma wood smoke.
As we opened up the gates a sea of young sports and their families descended upon us, all day they just kept coming and coming through the gates with record numbers in attendance at this first taster day of 2017, of course the day started at the reception desk with Margaret and Mandi doing a fine job of signing each person in and giving them a safety talk and explaining our rules and other dates etc we had on.
The Really Wild Adventures/Grass Roots bush craft team were flat out all day with everything from getting the kids to light fires to making our camp fire bread to cooking the trout they had caught and more.
The course fishing as always a massive draw, JP Angling took charge of the this discipline and were doing a fine job inspiring the young sports in the art, as well as untangling rods etc, Peter and Patrick were on the beginners fly fishing lake with a sea of young sports all wanting to catch a trout and learn how to make a fly line dance, then cook their trout over at the bush craft area, almost every young sport managed to hook a monster Jackland’s trout, the sea of smiling faces looking like Cheshire cats said it all, the day literally was awesome and probably the best one we have ever done to date and that’s saying something for this is our 9th year.
The archery and catapults were a massive draw especially for the dads, all the dads wanted to do was use a catapult like they did as boys and of course the lads V Dads competition started as always, a lot of memories made there with fathers and sons I telle, The mums and daughters loving the more refined archery so again a top drawer job to Nik who was going between the air rifle range and the catapult range and Kevin who was running the archery and catapult range.
Back Woods Falconry did a brilliant demonstration all day, their display was both entertaining and educational, they spoke with such vast knowledge and passion on the subject and drew a very big crowd all day, so a massive well done to Gary and Rupert you boys did a brilliant job, As did Meurig Rees from the Welsh BASC gun dog team, his dogs were beautiful and so well trained and disciplined they were a massive hit with young and old, not forgetting Julia with her awesome ferret display the kids and families loved them too.
Now leaving the best till last, as always our Air rifle and Air Pistol ranges are a massive draw for young and hmmmm old, the range stand was rammed full all day with mums and dads sons and daughters and more, they got to use everything from Spring Powered Air Rifles to PCP Air rifles and co2 air pistols, they used open sighted air rifles, air rifles with telescopic sights on them and even got to use an Air Arms TDR air rifle with a NiteSite mounted on it using day mode, we had kids as young as 2 years old shooting and a grand mother in her 80s having a go, Chris Nik and Danny you boys did a brilliant job.
I have had literally hundreds of emails and messages through our face book pages saying what a brilliant day when is our nest one, well that is back at Jackland’s Fishing lakes on the 11th of June 2017 a poster with all our dates etc is at the bottom of this article.
All the details are on our events page on our website (www.pass-it-on-young-sports.org.uk) as well as many other taster days events, as well as other venues we are at too, so take a look for yourself, all in all a brilliant no quite simply awesome first taster day of 2017, all of this could not be possible without the team of volunteers dedicating their time and often their own money to help these days run, so I must send a huge thank you to each and every one of you.
Also this has been 5 years coming and with the help of a fellow fishing coach who is passionate about inspiring kids just like me, he has donated us his venue to open up our very own sub powered air rifle range for the young sports and their families, a link to our face book page is on our website www.pass-it-on-young-sports.org.uk this will tell you all you need to know and contact details etc, we are launching it on the 23rd of May 2017 so come along bring your families etc, I will attach a copy of the launch poster to this article if you need any further information drop our secretary a call on the number on site or on the poster.