A committee from the Villages Lodge on Kiritimati (Christmas) Island has been formed to commence fund raising and complete other administrative tasks required to send the team to Tasmania. It has been decided that the team should consist of one senior guide and five junior guides. The selection criteria will be comprehensive to ensure that the best candidates are selected. At this point in time the team members selected are (from left) Patrick, Ben, Eketi (team captain) Kim, Menty and Tatoa. The lady on the team is Tiima and she will provide singing and dancing as well as assisting in some of the administrative tasks.
Those who have been to Kiritimati will appreciate what a big deal this will be for the team members who have never been off their small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that has a population of only 7000. This is a huge, once in a lifetime opportunity for the team members to not only experience what the world has to offer (they have never seen rivers, mountains, cows, horses, sheep, drunk fresh milk to name some) but also help bring world attention to their plight if the predictions of global warming come to fruition as the highest point on their homeland is just 10 metres above sea level.
These guys are excellent fly casters and great fishermen so in July 2018 we will be starting some training on the techniques they will be required to master to enable them to compete in an environment that is completely foreign to them. Training will consist of videos and some practical tuition on nymphing and fishing from boats. In 2019 we will have to services of a very experienced competition angler when he visits the island to provide some additional training. The team will travel to Tasmania 2 weeks prior to the competition for some intensive on water tuition so they will have the essential knowledge in relation to trout fishing.
Although their big journey in November 2019 is still eighteen months away, accumulation of the gear they will require is well underway. The team uniform has been purchased and the shirts embroidered less the individuals name in case there are any member changes. Because they have virtually nothing to complete the trip, a lot of additional gear besides fishing related equipment is required. Things such as travel bags, socks, runners for casual wear and jeans are just some of the items. Cool weather gear including thermals and jackets will be purchased after winter in 2019 when prices are lower.
There have already been some generous donations from the sale of paintings, boxes of CXI flies, laminated CXI maps as well as some cash donations. Alfie Kither has again kindly offered to accompany the team to purchase provisions and take care of the cooking duties. He did such a great job for the Commonwealth Championships a few years ago, all the team went home a few kilos heavier. For the two week training period, centrally located accommodation has been secured at Penstock Lagoon courtesy of Malcolm and Kayleen Crosse.
Even though funds raised to date amounts to about 5,000, there is still a lot of work to be done not the least of which is raising some extra funds to assist with their trip. Apart from airfares, it will cost approximately $3,500.00 per angler to travel and be involved in the event (team consists of 5 anglers plus a captain/reserve). The entry fees and accommodation in Launceston during the competition proper alone amounts to about $2,500 per angler. The additional funds go towards housing, feeding and transporting the team during the two week training /assimilation period prior to the competition. We have had a lot of offers from clubs to assist with flies for which we are very grateful. We have also had offers to sponsor the team with the equipment they will require. Check out the link to see a list of sponsors and supporters to date.
There is still a long way to go to enable these guys to make it to Australia. We are asking for assistance with a fund raising effort or simply for a donation to help the team compete at the World Fly Fishing Championships.
A separate ANZ account has been set up to facilitate and distribute funds raised. If you are interested in helping and can contribute, donations can be made as follows:
For electronic transfers email or phone me for BSB details – email@example.com or phone 0417 426 282
Payable to – Nial Logan Project Marketing Pty Ltd
Address – PO Box 5980, Stafford Heights QLD 4053
All deposits will be receipted and a newsletter on the team’s progress will be sent out. The goal is to raise $25,000 so a cut off date for the decision to go ahead with the organisation of the trip for the guys is the 31th of December 2018. Any forthcoming commitment to assist by way of a donation, needs to be completed by that date. If the financial target is not reached and the team does not make it to Australia then all monies will be refunded in full.