Sunday, November 07, 2010

Boy catches shark off Henley Beach

The teenage sports fisherman from Fairview Park spent five hours battling the shark before bringing it into shore off Henley Beach in front of a 150-strong crowd of squealing onlookers.

Okay, so we have all worked out he should have been at school. If you look at the photo with the article there are other young people who probably should have been at school too. They can't all have had exams.  Nick hooked the shark at 7am and tussled with it for 5 hours until he landed it. Once he had the photos , he let it go. So given we had a news article about a 14 year old misappropriating a car and wreaking havoc in the news this morning, then Nick is showing us that young people can be pretty determined and have a lot of skills we need to foster.School is school, they should be there. Absenteeism is a world wide phenomenon in our affluent countries. Why is that? We need to fix it. You read of articles about young people causing damage and harm and then you get a story like Nick's. If he hooked the shark at 7am , he obviously was there earlier. He was with his Dad so at least he is part of a family which develops skills and a good life. He knows about fishing and he knows about the rules pertaining to sharks so he is young but being brought up responsibly.Yes, he should have been at school. Maybe the bronze sharks are not there that often and this is an opportunity not to be missed. Maybe Nick is at school every other day of the year. Maybe schools and fishery industries should develop competitions for students like other organisations do with golf, football, auctioneering, dance. Maybe  a school fishing competition would be a good thing. Nick's catch, though, is also a really good reminder that we share our water with sharks and we need to be mindful in this warmer weather. When you hear what Nick did , you know he is a quite a special kind of boy and needs to be encouraged. He may well have to face the music over his absence but when we see so many young people getting it wrong, it is important we encourage the ones with the enthusiasm and dedication Nick has for life.

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