The Blind Anglers International Tournament (BAIT) was developed by the Lions Clubs of District A4 (Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec) to provide an opportunity, at no cost, for fun and excitement for legally blind people. In addition, it is intended to be an effective mechanism for their rehabilitation.
The physical consequences of blindness can be imagined by most people and today a variety of aides and devices are available to get around many of the difficulties presented by the disability. However, the emotional consequences are almost impossible to imagine and much more difficult to deal with. These difficulties often include depression, anxiety and a tendency to withdraw within oneself and hibernate.
The BAIT contributes greatly towards the resolution of these emotional problems amongst the blind and visually impaired. The BAIT hooks up blind persons with sports fishermen to compete in a high-class fishing tournament each spring.
Everyone who witnesses this tournament is impressed with the fun, excitement and enthusiasm among all participants. It is interesting to note the envy among sighted people left on shore. It is also great to see those who have not yet learned to cope effectively with their disability, get to meet others who have. New optimism, new energy and new hopes are possible through these contacts and have made significant improvements in the lives of the participants.
The Lions provide fun, entertainment, good food and fellowship free of charge.
As in the spring tournament, these participants also get to meet others with similar physical limitations. The Lions are justifiably proud of the benefits offered by the BAIT program and would like to provide more people with the opportunity to participate.
LionPaul Riddell of the Stittsville and District Lions Club is the Chairperson for the 2018 & 2019 BAIT Tournaments.
Should you know of a sight handicapped person who might benefit from the opportunity to participate in this type of activity, or if you would like to discover how you might assist, please contact -
Lion Dave Furgoch at the BAIT 'hotline' (7x24) Telephone: 613-699-8412.