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Jon’s story

Filed in Uncategorized by on June 6, 2011 8 Comments

Jons story


Hi my name is Jon McDougall I am 20 years of age I have this mood disorder called bi polar which is when I can change moods rapidly from high to low anyway enough about my moody ways lets talk about Lapwing I’ve been on Lapwing for two and a half (years) which I spend my time fishing and maths and english but previously ive done environmental and conservation studies and gym and swimming to help with self esteem issues but at present time Ive been focussing on my fishing because Im in the middle of my level 1 coaching course for fishing. Dave Nelson is my level 2 fishing coach he’s helped me in so many ways in self esteem teaching me tricks in the trade in fishing he even took me to the gym and swimming also got me a work placement at my local fishing tackle shop which comes in handy when you are training to be a fishing coach because it is helpful to know all the tools of the trade. Its also good for meeting new people its made me have more confidence in myself resulting in making new friends and achieving things like passing my level one english test, making new friends, losing weight attending level one coaching course, standing up in front of everyone at course and doing a demonstration which I thought id never be able to do but I did. Also I helped out Dave at a coaching event which I helped an angler with a disability called Colin with fishing with a whip and fish handling and care, completing my portfolio for my level 1 coaching course and many more but thats just a small dose of Lapwing can offer you


The day finally came day 2 of the level 1 fishing course and at first I was dreading it but then I came to realise it wasn’t bad at all in fact it was great. I really got a lot out of it for instance I gained more confidence in myself. Also I made some new friends and I found it really interesting so hopefully Ill pass fingers crossed.

Daves story

Hi my name is Dave Nelson. Lapwing used me to coach Jon in fishing but also to coach him to become a fishing coach.

Jons Lapwing Individual Learning Plan included goals of

  • Gaining experience and skills to become an angling coach
  • Working alongside peers with similar interests
  • Attending angling development meetings and coaching days to learn more about opportunities in angling coaching


  • Securing volunteer work in local fishing tackle shop

as well as including other goals relating to more general life skills

Lapwing allowed me to spend enough time working with Jon, (two days a week, for two years), to enable him to learn and develop high levels of angling skills and gain a wide range of fishing experiences as a foundation for having the confidence to coach other people. He is enjoying success in sea, freshwater, and fly fishing and is he keen to learn more and widen his experiences and pass on his skills to others.

Jon has now completed all the requirements to gain the 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Angling Qualification and become an angling coach. He has worked with many people in angling by working in the shop and by attending many angling development meetings where his input is valued and respected, and at coaching events where he works hard and in a professional and effective way.

We visited the local leisure centre gym and pool each morning before we went fishing which helped Jon lose weight and gain fitness but it also allowed us to explore topics like motivation and goal setting, planning and reviewing, which we could then connect with coaching in angling.

His success in achieving these goals has helped him develop life skills too. He is using his coaching skills in other aspects of his life and in finding solutions to other matters.

It has been a privilege to work for Lapwing with Jon. The ambitious and comprehensive individual learning plan which they customised to meet Jon’s needs and aspirations have provided him with valuable skills that will stay with him for life and will be valuable in areas other than fishing.

Comments (8)

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  1. admin says:

    Wow what a wonderful story, and what an enormous fish! thank you so much for sending in your story for us to publish Jon

  2. Tracy Fowler says:

    it sounds like Jon should be very proud of what he has achieved. i hope he has every success with his coaching and inspire others to reach their own goals too.

  3. Amanda Elliott says:

    Congratulations Jon. I’m glad the fishing and coaching is helping you. I hope all your hard work pays off and good luck for the future

    Amanda Elliott
    Environment Agency

  4. Ian Wood says:

    Having met Jon a few times at some of the angling events I help run for the Suffolk Disabled Anglers Forum,(SDAF), I saw how keen he is to help others who have not got the experience he has.

    In his story he gives mention to helping Colin, who is a member of SDAF, and I know that Colin appreciated Jons help and support.

  5. Ian Wood says:

    Well done Jon, I know that the help you gave Colin helped him catch a lot of fish. I look forward to seeing you very soon at another one of our sessions.

  6. Colin Booker says:

    I’ve met Jon on two or three occasions and have been impressed with his gains in confidence. At a well attended meeting a few weeks ago, he took it upon himself to walk round shaking hands and introducing himself to others at the meeting! If only everyone there did that!
    Fishing works!!!
    Well done Jon.

  7. Freddy says:

    just a little comment from a student of jons english group on fridays: hay jon whada big fish youve caught there buddy well done youve come along way with both your social and learning skills and your good friend that turns peoples lows to highs keep up the good work and all the best for the future Fred …..

  8. John Burgess says:

    What an inspiring story! I have met Jon briefly on a couple of occasions and found him to be a very engaging young man who is obviously passionate about fishing and becoming a coach. I wish you the best of luck for the future Jon.
    Thank goodness for organisations like Lapwing helping to develop the future with young people and with people like Dave Nelson to provide the practical assistance.

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