Queen abused

Catch com­pe­ti­tion Big prizes Ha­rassed by on­line trolls

Anglers Mail - - Front Page -

THIS year’s King of the Catch com­pe­ti­tion con­tin­ues to be mired in controversy, as one com­peti­tor al­most pulled out af­ter be­ing sub­ject to abu­sive mes­sages on so­cial me­dia.

This fol­lows on from ear­lier al­le­ga­tions of vote rig­ging us­ing re­mote bots, along with some­one be­ing ac­cused of cheat­ing, which led to the or­gan­is­ers is­su­ing a state­ment as­sur­ing en­trants that all votes were checked for their va­lid­ity.

The Queen cat­e­gory of Angling Di­rect’s con­test is where on­line prob­lems have arisen.

Kelly Crush, who has promised to do­nate any prize she wins to char­ity, re­ceived a tor­rent of abuse. The ex­pe­ri­enced carp an­gler sub­mit­ted a catch of a fine 53 lb carp that she landed on a trip to France, and she is cur­rently in third place, be­hind the cat­fish of Chelsie Aldridge and fel­low carper Bex Nel­son.

Kelly, a cloth­ing store man­ager from Ten­ter­den,

Kent, said: “It was al­ways my in­ten­tion to give any prize to char­ity, although I de­cided not to an­nounce that at first, but when I started to re­ceive abu­sive mes­sages, I thought that by re­veal­ing I was do­ing it for char­ity would si­lence the doubters.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong, as the abuse got worse, although I have also re­ceived loads of support. The names I have been called are shock­ing, and even my mum re­ceived abuse for back­ing me.

“I felt very ha­rassed, and wished I had never en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion in the first place. I was very up­set and wanted to with­draw, but my hus­band con­vinced me that to do so would be a win for the haters and, as I had done noth­ing wrong, I should con­tinue.

“Peo­ple seemed to think that I was some­how us­ing the char­ity idea as an un­fair way of gain­ing support, but that was cer­tainly not my in­ten­tion. I am 100 per cent gen­uine.

“Con­tes­tants of­ten en­ter ac­tiv­i­ties such as run­ning or cy­cling races, re­quest­ing do­na­tions for their char­ity of choice, so to me this was no dif­fer­ent.

“I chose Make-A-Wish UK, a cause dear to my heart, as it matches a sick child with the prize on of­fer, in this case a won­der­ful fish­ing hol­i­day.

“There is a funny story at­tached to the French carp. I was fish­ing with my hus­band and he was us­ing an ex­pen­sive drone that I had bought him for Christ­mas, but it got stuck up a tree on the far side of the lake.

“While he was try­ing to re­trieve it, my rod went off and I hooked into the fish. I kept shout­ing for him to come back, but by the time he heard me and re­turned, I had landed the fish. Luck­ily, it was on my rod, not one of his.

“I’m sure Chelsie is a fine cat­fish an­gler, and she has sub­mit­ted an un­usual fish, but her vote is, no doubt, helped by the fact that her dad runs a cat­fish group on so­cial me­dia with over 5,000 mem­bers.

“I’ve sug­gested that if peo­ple don’t want to support me, they vote for Bex, who is cur­rently in sec­ond place, as she is a great carp an­gler,” added 36-year-old Kelly.

The an­nual, free-to-en­ter com­pe­ti­tion is di­vided into four cat­e­gories, and the win­ner is se­lected by pub­lic vote on the web­site. Vot­ing finishes on Septem­ber 30, af­ter which the or­gan­is­ers scru­ti­nise all votes, re­ject­ing any that they think are not le­git­i­mate, be­fore an­nounc­ing the win­ner. Prizes are over­seas trips val­ued at £5,000, with this year’s Queen and her part­ner win­ning a salmon and stur­geon trip to Canada. Tackle vouch­ers worth £1,000 are awarded to the run­ners-up.

Fed up with abuse – Kelly Crush, seen here with the 53 lb carp that she en­tered into the Queen cat­e­gory of King of the Catch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.