Shropshire school pupil gearing up for adult fishing competition

A Shropshire school pupil is preparing to take part in an adult fishing competition this month.

Harry Upton, 15, who competes in fly fishing competitions for England, will be the only junior in the final of the adult Bank Masters championship on April 17.

The Thomas Adams School year ten pupil will also compete against fly-fishers his own age this weekend in the England Youth Bank Championships final, held at his family’s fishery in Ellerdine.

His parents Edward and Jayne said they are very proud of everything Harry has achieved.

Jayne said: “Harry was at work with us the day after he was born, he’s spent a big part of his life at Ellerdine Lakes and he’s been fly fishing as soon as he was old enough to cast a line.

“We are incredibly proud of his achievements on the fishing circuit - he’s got a gift, he’s a natural.

“On the competition circuit he has never fished with children, just with adults.
“Harry is very well known in fly fishing circles and is sponsored by companies with tackle and clothing for his personal use.”

The Bank Masters championship will be at Elinor fishery in Northamptonshire. It’s the fourth time Harry has been in the final of the adult competition and two years ago he was interviewed by Sky TV.

He qualified for the England Youth Fly Fishing (EYFF) team at the age of just 12 and a year later competed in an international match at Grafham Water, Cambridge, where the England team won a bronze medal.

He will be competing in the five-day competition again this August with the team at Lough Leane, Ireland, earning his second England cap aged just 15.

In preparation Harry has been tying his own flies and will train with the England team for five days this summer as well as numerous training weekends throughout the year at various reservoirs around the country managed by The Angling Trust.

In addition Harry tutors young fishers at Ellerdine Lakes and helps out in the tackle shop.

Harry said: “I enjoy fishing very much and particularly like the competitions.

“The big matches against national and world champions are my favourites.

“Also, because you get to meet so many people from all around the British Isles and beyond makes it a very social thing to do.

“I like to get better and better, winning my first England cap was a brilliant occasion and I’m looking forward to competing again this summer.

“When I finish school I hope to have a future in agriculture and fisheries.”

Harry has to juggle his passion, training and competitions alongside his studies at Thomas Adams School in Lowe Hill Road, Wem.

But Headteacher Liz Dakin said you wouldn’t know how much he has on by talking to him.

She said: “Harry doesn’t shout about representing England or being on television around school at all, he is very humble about his success.

“We are proud of him at school and are so pleased he is doing something that he enjoys and is clearly very good at it.

“I’m not sure we’ve ever had a pupil represent England at fishing before and we’re proud to call Harry a Thomas Adams pupil.

“We’ll be supporting him in all his competitions, he is surely going to go on to do very well in his chosen sport and hopefully inspire other pupils here at Thomas Adams.”

Harry joins the long list of elite athletes past and present from Thomas Adams including national modern pentathlete Joe Evans, Tom Garbett, who competes in national events for the triathlon, Beth Ellis who fences for the England squad and Aimee Cooper and Finn Adams who are national level tennis players and Aimee also represents England at rounders.

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