Captaining your country is not something that many sporting personalities can even dream of achieving, but it’s a reality for Keith Renton of Leitholm.
Keith, 59, will travel to Tasmania, Australia, next year as the captain of Scotland’s fly fishing team – after competing for Scotland at the home internationals in May.
Speaking to the Berwickshire News, Keith said: “This is the pinnacle basically.
“I have fished for my country quite a number of times in various championships – European, worlds, world masters – I won a silver medal in the world masters in Ireland two years ago which I’m very proud of.
“Because I am getting on a bit, I though my chances of qualifying again were quite slim but I qualified for the team in Tasmania and they have given me the honour of captaining the team – which is completely unexpected.
“I’m absolutely delighted by the whole thing.”
The 59-year-old admits the trip to Australia, which is largely paid for by the competitors themselves with a bit of fundraising done on the side, is something new for him.
“I’ve never been to Australia before, it is a bit of a step into the unknown.
“But it’s Scotland’s type of fishing – it’s all brown trout. Scotland has a great reputation of doing quite well in these types of championships.
“There have been Scottish teams there as far back as 1988 so we are busy trying to get information from previous championships years ago, to see if they can help us out.”
Keith, a member of Coldstream Angling Assocation for many years, was keen to highlight that fishing locally is key.
“I support the local reservoirs, I fish in Watch Water and Coldingham, whilst Tweed is my favourite fishing area.
“My father introduced me to fishing when I was five years old and it has grown from there.
“I gained my first Scotland cap in 2006 and I have received several since then, but it was all thanks to local anglers.
“When I was four or five, there was loads of local anglers who were happy to help youngsters – that is something that I am really keen to do once I have stopped competitive angling.”