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Former world champion receives national honour for inspiring young anglers to become England stars

03.01.18

Chris Clark, World Sea Angling Champion x550px

Chris Clark, a former world champion sea angler who has inspired hundreds of youngsters to aim for glory in Britain’s biggest participation sport, has been recognised with a national honour.

Chris, of Lymington, Hampshire, has been awarded a British Citizen Award for his services to the community.

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Chris is a former World Champion who has won 23 world medals (gold, silver and bronze) during a lifetime of fishing but now dedicates his efforts to helping other future sea anglers which has seen him produce three more world champions. He has held numerous voluntary posts representing anglers across Britain.

In 2001, Chris suffered devastating injuries in a near-fatal farm accident spending many weeks in hospital recovering. He lost much of the mobility in his right arm and leg at the peak of his England career.

But he refused to let it get him down instead saying the accident inspired him to give up his farm and devote himself full-time to sea angling and supporting youngsters showing a talent in the sport.

Coaching the Under-16 team for many years he has taken them across the world to compete in major events often dipping into his own pocket to cover costs in a sport which often struggles to attract sponsors.

But the 68-year-old father and grandfather is adamant it should be available to all and not just those who can afford to fund it themselves.

Over the last three years Chris has taken a lead role in developing and coaching on the Angling Trust Talent Pathway, a training programme designed to help good Junior anglers transform into world class anglers.

Chris is one of 34 medalists who will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony on January 25 at the Palace of Westminster. He will receive a Medal of Honour inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medalists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

Speaking about his nomination, Chris said: “I feel very honoured by this award but more importantly I’m delighted by the legacy it will have in terms of encouraging more people to not only take up sea angling but also to consider coaching if they have the expertise and time to give.

"It is important that we do as much as we can to promote and support the talents and skills that individual children have. It is wonderful when you get them to engage and do well at something and feel good about it. It transfers into other parts of their lives.

"I love what I do and really appreciate seeing how much it can benefit others.”

Chris was nominated for a BCA by his fellow coach David Graham, who said: "Chris Clark's huge impact and influence has contributed to the promotion of angling both in the United Kingdom and internationally. He has made a huge impact upon the Junior angling community by sharing his knowledge countrywide through Angling Roadshows. He teaches young people how to improve their fishing and imparts a vast wealth of knowledge of the sport.”

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