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The fishing adventures of the Zimbabwe flag bearer, Matthew

Young Matthew Taderera carried the hopes of a nation and its colourful flag at the 2023 Daiwa Global Communities Celebration.

Matthew Taderara, angler holding Zimbabwe flag

Sue Galloway BEM, from the Northampton Nene Angling Club (NNAC) tells us more about the aspiring angler.

How did it all begin?

Matthew’s introduction to fishing began at the age of five at the time when his older siblings were members of NNAC. He states that his fishing inspirations are coach Sue Galloway and his brothers. This stems from when they were old enough to be allowed to go fishing and he couldn’t. As a little kid, he had always wanted to fish and once he was finally allowed to have a go, he was constantly demanding to know when the next session would be held.

Since starting out, Matthew has not taken a break from fishing. Occasionally he’s missed attending club sessions due to lack of transport or being out of the country. His love for fishing has been so great that he sometimes refuses to attend other family events, choosing to attend the fishing sessions in preference. At home he spends a lot of time reading books on fishing and watching fishing programs.

Joining the NNAC Club

Becoming a club member was an immense joy for Matthew. Upon first joining, he received fishing kit to encourage him to continue fishing outside of club events. The way our club is currently able to operate is that we get enough donated equipment to give away to budding new members who we feel are reasonable prospects to acquire the fishing habit. When keen kids upgrade and purchase their own equipment, a proportion of the original items inevitably find their way back into the club again, thus helping the next person to kickstart their journey.

Canal & River Trust National Celebration of young people and fishing 2023

Matthew decided to register for the celebration a few days before the cut-off date.

Matthew said, “I felt honoured to have the chance be taking part in such a mass participation event, as I had only fished in a semi-competitive with probably ten people at most, many of whom I knew. This was going to be a much bigger occasion with lots of kids from all over the UK.

The big day came, and he weighed in 0.74kg to come 53rd out of 105 participants from peg ten located at Grubb Street. That is exactly halfway. The all-important Fjuka gudgeon mug was duly secured too, and to top off a brilliant day, Matthew was surprised and thrilled to receive the most meritorious performance Trophy award.

Matthew said, “My best moment was being awarded my first trophy and medal at the celebration, as I had been initially so nervous about taking part. This was because there were so many other people taking part too and it felt a bit scary.”

Flying the Zimbabwean flag at the Daiwa Global Communities Celebration October 2023

Once the national celebration is over, the Let’s Fish team buckle down to the task of selecting teams of three for the Daiwa Global Communities Celebration (LINK) in four age groups. Any sporting team captain will know how difficult pulling just one team together can sometimes be. Having to do it for more than sixty teams is challenging indeed. It was decided that 25 teams of three would line up in the cadets section. As the only Zimbabwean, Matthew was named in the Global Superstars team along with Theo Karadia and Aziz Yusif.

Sue recalls the big day. It was an early morning start, 6am on the dot, for Matthew who travelled to the Shropshire/Staffordshire border with Coach Sue and Coach Sam. As we exited the door, Mum called out, ‘make sure you bring a trophy home.’ It was a horrible morning, the incessant rain hammering the windscreen and wipers working at full blast. A drenched Simon Mottram must have been already pegging out the 195-peg match length by the time we set off.

Matthew initially chatted then slept like a log until we arrived at 8.30am at Macdonald’s for a quick breakfast. He only had a hash brown and hot chocolate. It turned out he had had a healthy porridge meal before being picked up, (thanks mum) He proudly carried the Zimbabwean flag at the flag ceremony at Hinstock Memorial Hall, having to wait patiently in the queue whilst the other 33 nations got their turn ahead of Zimbabwe. As we left the hall, the rain had finally stopped, and the sun even threatened to show itself for the first time in several days.

Different nationalities representing Daiwa global celebration

Nervous excitement

Matthew was happy and super excited to be fishing as part of the Global Superstars Red team in the cadet category. He wasn’t sure what to expect and he didn’t really know who his teammates were, nor did he initially realize that they were all to be pegged next to each other. Essentially, he just wanted to fish, the remaining details were for someone else to be concerned about.

Under the care of level one Coach Sam Kiff, Matthew focused intently on his fishing for 2.5 hours. Using only his 3-metre elasticated pole (number 4 elastic), he made a very solid start landing some early skimmers for which the needed the landing net and a few welcome gudgeon. Bites dried up but the 2.5 hours quickly sped by. The scales quickly arrived, and he weighed 890 grams. That weight would have earned him 37th spot back in September at the national celebration. On this occasion, I realized he would surely finish significantly higher than that. The importance of what Matthew’s fellow teammates had also weighed in was just starting to become potentially dawn on me but at that stage it certainly hadn’t registered with Matthew, or if it had, he was keeping remarkably quiet about it.

A ten-minute drive and we were back to the presentation at a buzzing Hinstock hall. The top twelve cadet individual results were read out and Matthews 890g which was good enough to take eighth place overall, winning a reel in the process. Teammate Aziz was one place behind and his other teammate, Theo Karadia was individual champion. All three of them had finished in the top ten. Amazing. On to the team result and there was almost disbelief when the Global Superstars trio were called up for the first-place team prize award.

Coach Sam Kiff

Matthew felt that the presence of Let’s Fish coach (LINK) Sam was the best possible thing and had contributed to his best day. Sam helped him to calm him down and have more confidence in himself. Importantly, Sam was also able to convince Matthew not to give up during those periods when bites were not forthcoming.

Positive impacts of angling

In Matthews own words “taking part in the sport of fishing has given me a whole lot of confidence in my ability to achieve results and to concentrate.” Being part of the winning team has also confirmed to him his ability and for good measure he has managed to get one over on his older brothers, who have been his main competitors so far. Sibling rivalry is an ever present in the world of coaching. Will his brothers now be inspired to emulate him, or will it put them off fishing for life? Time will tell.

If Matthew’s story have inspired you to find out more about getting involved in fishing or even representing an overseas nation in the Daiwa Global Communities Celebration don’t hesitate to drop us an email at [[email protected]](mailto: [email protected]) to find out more.

Last Edited: 18 January 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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