Shaun's Hooked On Fishing

New fisherman Shaun Nelson celebrated his catch at Fox Hills Pond in Birmingham. Shaun caught the 17 lb Carp in February.

Fourteen year old Shaun is currently taking part in a government initiative called RAMP (Respect Athlete Mentoring Programme) and was with his athlete mentor Adam Whitehead when he made the catch.

Shaun was identified by the Youth Sport Trust to take part in RAMP as he was becoming disengaged in both education and out of school activities.

Ex-Olympic Swimmer Adam Whitehead, says: “Shaun's a great lad and I was so proud of him when he pulled the Carp in. His had a tough time but since I have been working with him we've had a great time fishing – it's something he's really passionate about.”

Shaun caught the carp with a fresh fish boilie over a bed of pellets and crushed boilies. Although Shaun has always shown a keen interest in fishing he hasn't had the opportunity to explore different methods. Since becoming involved in RAMP Shaun has worked with his mentor Adam to explore different angling techniques. Adam says: “I wanted to show Shaun lots of different techniques.  An old family friend taught me how to fish and I want to do the same for Shaun.  We started on a small whip, then pole and float rod.  This was Shaun's first session using modern carping methods and to see Shaun's face as we landed the 17lb common was awesome”.  

The Respect Athlete Mentoring Programme (RAMP) targets young people aged 11 to 25 from deprived neighbourhoods who are at risk of getting involved in anti-social behaviour. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has invested over £650,000 in the scheme, which is being delivered by Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust.

RAMP has 17 elite sports stars from the past and present on board, including: Olympic cycling medallist Bryan Steel and former World Champion swimmer Nick Gillingham, who act as mentors for individuals and small groups.

Each mentoring package is personally tailored for the young person's needs, helping them to take positive steps for their future. RAMP sets them goals, helps them to recognise opportunities and widen their horizons.  Adam is also encouraging Shaun to take part in the ‘Get Hooked on Fishing' programme where he can improve his fishing with some trained instructors.