The first ever Welsh women’s carp-fishing team is playing England this weekend in what will be the first fishing match of its kind.
Having only formed last year, Ladies Carp Team Cymru will take on their British-rival opposition in what will be a 45-hour-long competition running from April 15 to 17.
And while there is a slight amount of nervous anticipation about their debut event, the female Welsh fishers are more excited about officially starting a women’s team in carp-fishing.
Their 25-year-old captain Samantha Roberts, of Pontypridd, said: “We’re so excited. We’re making history and it’s only the beginning. Hopefully ladies carp-fishing will become more and more widespread across the globe and start to become an international phenomenon.”
All six ladies live within South Wales around the Cardiff and Newport areas, with their ages ranging between 20 and 49.
Starting at midday on Friday, the ladies will be spending the weekend trying to catch as many carp fishes as possible in 45 hours.
It will be the first ever course fishing team competition of its kind with Natalie Chapman, one of the members from Cardiff, saying: “We’re making history and it’s just amazing. Before I met these six women I’d never met any woman who really enjoyed fishing.
“It’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Fishing’s surprisingly complicated and I’m still learning but hopefully we’ll be able to put in a good performance and beat the English this weekend.”
All six of the women in the team have always been big fishers, but only two of them knew each other beforehand.
Having always been a keen fisher, 33-year-old Natalie joined a fishing appreciation group on Facebook last year where she met Samantha.
It was through this that Samantha set up plans to make an official fishing team and towards the end of last year the six women properly met and Ladies Carp Team Cymru was born.
“It’s the first ever official carp-fishing team for Wales. We signed papers the other week and it’s now official so we’re really excited,” said Natalie.
“In less than five years, I hope there’ll be a world championship for women carp fishers,” said Samantha.
Samantha said this is a “peaceful event” where the teams simply enjoy catching the fish for a “friendly hello” and quick photograph before safely releasing them back into their natural environment.
“We were all independent anglers just going about our own thing, and then I put it out there about setting up our own fishing team,” said Samantha.
The team members all work in various professions including a teacher, a carer, a fire service-trainer, Go Outdoors personal assistant and customer complaints assistant.
This weekend’s competition is being held at Barston Lakes in the West Midlands and will see the two six-woman team each split into three pairs and then put in three different areas of the lake, with each spot having both a Welsh and English pair trying to catch as many carp fishes as possible in two days.
And the captain said there may well not be much sleep gained that weekend as both teams would no doubt work hard during the two days to catch as many carp as possible.
Explaining the scoring, Samantha said: “In each of the three spots, whoever wins gets two points, if you’ve caught fish but not as much as the other two, you get one point. If you blank, which means you catch no fish, you get no points.”
The teams know each other so it should be a “friendly competitive weekend” with Samantha saying “this is just the beginning” for Welsh women’s carp-fishing team.