Westport Lions Roar
Lion Bob Reddick
Earlier this spring, President Wayne Bent announced the sad news that the Blind Anglers International Tournament (B.A.I.T.) had been cancelled for this year as the lodge where it had been held was being sold. With great perseverance, the organizers scouted numerous alternative locations but were not able to find a replacement venue. Then, in the eleventh hour, they found Springwood Cottages on Kennebec Lake in Arden, Ontario, that meet all the requirements.
B.A.I.T was created by Stittsville Lions Club of District A4 (Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec) to provide a fun fishing experience for legally blind people. Blind participants are partnered with sports fishermen to compete in this first-rate fishing tournament. This exciting event is free for the participants and funded by Lions Clubs.
One of the goals of the camp is to provide rehabilitation for the blind. Most people can imagine the physical consequences of being blind, but the emotional consequences such as depression, anxiety and withdrawing from society and even one’s self are difficult to treat. B.A.I.T. can help towards the healing of these emotional problems. Participants who have not yet learned to cope with their disability meet others with similar disabilities and learn coping strategies. These new friendships bring hope, energy and optimism to the blind anglers, resulting in significant improvement in their daily lives.
The Lions in District A4 are justifiably proud of the benefits offered by the B.A.IT. and the Westport Lions Club would be willing to sponsor a legally blind person for this tournament. This year the 30th annual B.A.I.T. tournament will be held from May 25th to 27th. If you know of a visually impaired person that would love an opportunity to enter in this tournament, or you would like to contribute to this cause, please contact the Westport Lions at firstname.lastname@example.org