Two Powys men are part of a UK first disabled fishing team that will be competing at the European Championships.

Jim Sharman 48, of Llanymynech and Gareth Stevens, 42, of Llandrindod Wells will be members of the Welsh Senior Disabled carp team at the European adaptive Championships in August – the first time the UK has had a disabled team at such an event.

The team consists of men and women, some of whom are military veterans, who have various disabilities that affect their physical and mental health – including issues caused by cancer, severe burns, severe asthma, PTSD, arthritis, mental health issues and epilepsy.


Mr Sharman has severe difficulties after nerve damage to his right arm that left him in acute pain. He has since had an electronic stimulator implanted in the arm which fools the pain receptors in the arm, without it shooting pains continually travel up his arm.

He also has issues with arthritis in his knees issues that stopped him pursuing his previously active lifestyle.

County Times: The Welsh Senior Disabled Carp Team: Team Captain, Jamie Edwards, Nathan Bull, Ryan Ball, Darren Warlock, Gemma Phillips, Jim Sharman and Gareth StevensThe Welsh Senior Disabled Carp Team: Team Captain, Jamie Edwards, Nathan Bull, Ryan Ball, Darren Warlock, Gemma Phillips, Jim Sharman and Gareth Stevens (Image: Jim Sharman)

“I have always been an active person but due to my injuries and now permanent disabilities I have taken up Carp Fishing," Said Mr Sharman.

"It was my wife who mentioned fishing and it was not my idea of an active sport, I gave it a go on Bala lake and caught a tiny Perch and now I’m hooked.

“Due to my disabilities I have to minimise the amount of time I spend with the rod, casting, playing and netting the fish. Casting is solved by using a bait boat which accurately drops my rig and bait in the spot I want to fish.

"But on some lakes bait boats are banned so I have to have someone come with me, I do have the full support of my family who are all fantastic at helping out.”

Mr Stevens, a Military veteran for over 13 years, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2021 has had “physical and mental restrictions post-surgery and treatment” and is in constant care from oncology staff.

County Times: Gareth Stevens with one of the Carp he has caught

The team has been assembled by Angling Cymru through the work of team manager Keath Llewellyn, a fisherman for 40 years who has a damaged spine along with other chronic conditions, who wanted to set up a disabled carp team for over five years.

Angling Cymru took over as the governing body and Kayleigh Watkins, former captain of the Welsh ladies carp team, spoke to them before going on to serve as the assistant manager in the new team.

They ran trials in Swansea earlier this year, and have now been allocated four pairs' places in the European adaptive carp championships on Oxlease lake in Oxfordshire meaning - making them the first international disabled carp team in the UK.

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Currently there are seven members with the other members being- Team Captain, Jamie Edwards, 35; Nathan Bull, 30, of Blaenau; Ryan Ball, 31, of Bargoed; Darren Warlock, 54, of Tredegar and Gemma Phillips, 40, of Llanybydder.

“This will be our first opportunity to represent our country and hopefully come home with the Win,” said Mr Sharman.

“We were introduced to each other at a recent trial in Swansea. There are currently trials being set up to select more members to the current team. So, being on the first Disabled carp team being from the UK we are all very proud to represent Wales on the Carp Fishing International stage.”

The team are now looking for sponsorship to help with competition fees, travelling expenses and new equipment for the team to have as spares.

To donate visit: Fundraiser by Keath Llewellyn : International Senior Welsh Disabled Carp Team (