Pound Hill angling coach Graham wins BBC South East Unsung Hero award
Pound Hill angling expert Graham Cridland has been recognised for his work in teaching the sport to youngsters who need help.
His West Sussex and Surrey Angling Academy has helped hundreds who were on the verge of being excluded from school or are disadvantaged. Also kids with substance abuse problems and older folk, including a 94-year-old, have been students of his.
Cridland has received the BBC Unsung Hero Award for the South East and even got to meet sports icons like Colin Jackson, Duncan Goodhew and Jessica Ennis when he was a VIP guest at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
He was also a national finalist in ITV’s Pride of Britain Awards in September.
Cridland said: “To be nominated for the two most prestigious awards is quite mind-blowing.”
He has kept his academy going with the help of 15 volunteers, even dipping into his own pocket to keep it going after funding disappeared.
Cridland, an aircraft engineer at Gatwick, was astounded he had won the award, and was then one of 15 regional winners to go forward to the national award.
He revealed: “I didn’t even know I’d been in for it until the BBC TV crew came to film me. The interview was shown seven times on TV - it was absolutely unreal.”
Former rugby player and coach Cridland switched to coaching angling coahcing in 2004 after completing a course with and then began volunteering at the scheme set up by the West Sussex Learning Partnership. He has kept it going since funding stopped in 2006. He is currently applying for £10,000 of funding grants but would love to recive £15 million to set up another three centres and employ 12 apprentices.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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