Search

Norfolk boy ‘hooked’ on fishing after winning contest with broken arm

PUBLISHED: 16:32 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 11 July 2017

Thoman Gell, 12, the best overall angler, caught over 22lb of fish. Photo: Sarah Thomson

Thoman Gell, 12, the best overall angler, caught over 22lb of fish. Photo: Sarah Thomson

Archant

When 12-year-old Thomas Gell broke his arm, he thought his dream of landing first place at an angling competition was the one that got away.

Thomas taking part in the angling final at Barford Lakes. Photo: Matthew PotterThomas taking part in the angling final at Barford Lakes. Photo: Matthew Potter

But the Wayland Academy pupil pulled off a stunning upset when he won the Norfolk Summer School Games angling final - using just one hand.

Thomas broke his right arm competing in the high jump at school, on Monday, June 12. The following day he took part in the angling qualifiers, held at Barford Lakes - and won.

He later took part in the final day of the games on Friday, June 23, fishing for the Breckland School Sport Partnership (SSP) A Team.

After an impressive catch of 22lb one oz of fish, Thomas, who is in Year Eight, won the title of individual best angler, while his team achieved second place.

The teams at the Norfolk Summer School Games, at Barford Lakes. Photo: Matthew PotterThe teams at the Norfolk Summer School Games, at Barford Lakes. Photo: Matthew Potter

Thomas, who had only ever fished twice before, said: “I wasn’t very into it before, but now I’ve seen what fishing’s like, I’m hooked.”

He added that he had his grandad on hand at the event, to “unhook the fish for me,” but that “everything else I did myself.”

“Sarah and Duncan [from Barford Lakes] really helped me out”, he said, while his mum added that her son was “glowing with praise” for the Barford Lakes team after the event.

Sarah Thomson, who works at Barford Tackle, kitted Thomas out with a whip fishing pole, enabling him to fish without the use of his right hand. This type of rod doesn’t have a reel, making it ideal for juniors and beginner anglers, and enabled left-handed Thomas to participate in the games.

The winning team at the Norfolk Summer School Games, at Barford Lakes. Photo: Matthew PotterThe winning team at the Norfolk Summer School Games, at Barford Lakes. Photo: Matthew Potter

Thomas estimated that he caught between 25 and 30 silver fish, in addition to three carp.

The West Norfolk A team placed first in the angling final, and was composed of Luke Boughen, Jacob Clarke and Thomas Wagg, who collectively landed 33lb one oz. The Breckland B Team was made up of Silas Nile, and Jimmy Rowland, who came 4th and 3rd in section respectively, alongside Thomas Gell who took 1st place. The team landed 31lb one oz and scored eight penalties, compared to the winning team’s six.

Over 40 secondary school pupils fished in the final from all over Norfolk, all aiming to be crowned Norfolk School Games Angling Winners 2017.

The angling final is part of the Norfolk Summer School Games: the largest school sport event ever to be held in Norfolk.

Other news

09:19

The number of civil partnerships in Norfolk has fallen dramatically since same-sex marriage was legalised.

Fri, 18:30

A Swaffham grain trader has bought a Yorkshire competitor in an undisclosed-value deal.

Fri, 16:58

Swaffham town councillors have agreed to apply for a £6 million government loan to fund the development of 51 new homes.

Fri, 15:36

A First World War memorial campaign led by former head of the army Lord Dannatt will see 6ft tall Tommy silhouette statues erected around the county.

Most Read

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more
Fri, 16:58

Swaffham town councillors have agreed to apply for a £6 million government loan to fund the development of 51 new homes.

Read more
Swaffham Town Council
Fri, 18:30

A Swaffham grain trader has bought a Yorkshire competitor in an undisclosed-value deal.

Read more
United Kingdom
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A new store and drive-through coffee shop may soon be built in Necton if plans are granted by Breckland Council.

Read more
Breckland Council
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Military presence in the region is set for dramatic changes after the government announced it will close several defence sites in East Anglia.

Read more
House of Commons

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 17°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy