- Published on Sunday, 29 April 2012 23:18
- Written by Brian McGlashan
The assessments were to take place on the 20th and 21st April with the CPPD on the 22nd but the worrying started months before. My hopes were that I could do justice to what was in my opinion a very important job and one that would prove that the regions could function as they were intended. OK I thought, “I had better phone Louis for some information on what is expected". Information gathered plus Louis encouragement spurned me on. My only hope was that the weather would be fine. "Better get in touch with Alberto regarding a venue as I know he has plenty of contacts". After a few trips the both of us agreed the Angling Active Centre near Stirling would be ideal.
With the backdrop of Stirling Castle, Bannockburn and William Wallace in my thoughts I hoped I wouldn’t have to give a rousing rendition of Braveheart to gain the permissions we needed. Martin the owner was all for it and also had a contact in the Cattle Mart attached to the Centre, which would provide the essential facilities. We all met on a Sunday morning and all the signs were positive with just one more call to make. Davie Jones who would hopefully grant us permission to use the River gave us the thumbs up which meant we could press ahead with all the other organising.
If only the weather gods would give me the thumbs up.
Next thing to organise were the Assessors and Philip Maher and Leslie Holmes were the first to pop into my head as I had spent all of my Assessor Training with them. So I called them up and without hesitation they agreed to come and help. Next was Andrew Toft who also indicated his willingness to help and so with Alberto already signed up we had a team.
Now if the weather doesn’t play up it will be great.
Catering was next on the agenda and I met with Paul who runs the Deli at the Centre. “No problem leave it with me “ says Paul without asking to much questions. That, plus the thought of a low pressure and rain worried me.
Next all the paper work. I contacted Jim Gill who assured me all the relevant paraphernalia will be with me when I need it, so no worries there.
Well I don’t have to worry about that but what if the rain comes?
The next thing to pop into my head was Risk Assessment and First Aid so I called up Roger Miles who immediately said “count me in” well at least I thought he did as he was speaking in a strange Cockney accent. Then a call to big Chris Aldred to see if he would make it and he assured me he would be up at some point during the proceedings.
Demonstrations were next to organise but I had planned them when I was organising the assessors. Philip, Leslie, Andrew plus John Symonds all offered their services, so I was sorted. Then I had a thought, why not try to involve some of the new guys? I contacted young Scott Loudon and Stewart Grieve and asked for their thoughts. Scott said "No problem I will get practising my Speys". Stewart said "Do you think I am good enough”and I relied "Just try it and see Mr Negative". I also contacted Tamas our Hungarian connection who was taking his GAIC Assessment and asked if he passed would he demonstrate the 170 degree Cast? Apparently it’s a distance casters term.
I then started to think about the weather again.
At this point the Assessment and CPPD places were filling fast so it looked like there was an interest and all this planning wouldn’t go to waste. Oops I had forgotten about flyers, so I contacted Mr cool,calm and collected John Symonds. “No problem Brian just let me know what you need and I will sort it” in a voice that would calm a Thunder storm.
Hope I don’t get one of these on the Day that would kill it.
Right; hotels and flights booked, airport pick-up arranged. Everything was now coming together and my anxieties were easing. I phoned Louis again and old him what I had In the Assessors Files. "You need a candidate feedback form Brian”. Drat I wish I had known that before but no problem, print them off and we are good to go.
Just please let the weather gods be kind.
The Assessment started with just a slight hiccup but big Chris, after a late call the night before had left England a lot earlier than originally planned and he jumped in to steady the ship. Roger, Philip and John gave me some pertinent feedback during the day which I took it on board,after I had growled at them. All the other Assessments went without a hitch. We had a total of eight assessments with six candidates not only making the standard but exceeding it and I think the Mentoring that they received plus a lot of hard work paid off.
The CPPD Day dawned and I awoke with a bit of a headache from the night before. I had spent half the previous evening worrying that some of our more colourful characters might say something, out of order, in front of the ladies present but I needn’t have worried as everyone was impecably behaved. Bernie Ratcliffe and his wife, Phil and his Fiancé, plus our other lady guest Ally, took all the banter in the way it was intended and we had a great evening trying to work out if Philip had a wart or a verucca on his foot and I had been to see my Orthodontist recently so I was well briefed on such matters.
Any way up we all managed to get to to the Angling Active Centre for the main Event. I had earlier suggested to Alberto that it would be a good idea to welcome our guests to Scotland in the traditional way, with a piper, and so he organised not only a piper but Pipe Major Chris Armstrong of the Scottish Power Pipe Ban. Now that’s the way to open a CPPD. All the demos went very well and everybody seemed to have a good day in a relaxed and informal manner. And yes Stewart, you and Scott did a grand demo, so now put your names down for your APGAI!!!
I seemed to have got all the praise but let me just say these events are a Team effort and without the people I have mentioned and the others in the background In GAIA who spend countless hours FOC these events would not happen. So sorry for all the hassle over the past few months lads and thanks for all the help.
Oh and by the way The weather was Fine!!!