Earlier in the month, you might've noticed the influx of campervans, trailers, boats and caravans coming into town. That was because the annual Leeton Bidgee Classic fishing competition was held once again on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at Gogeldrie Weir.
Before I go any further I should declare a conflict of interest here - I was a volunteer on the 2019 committee and have been involved with this event for many years.
In 2010 when I started working for Leeton Shire Council, I found myself also working with the Bidgee Classic committee. At that point, I knew nothing about fishing but the president at that time was an experienced fisherman. Combine that with my event management experience and I think we managed to pull off a good event that year.
As time passed, my love for the event grew and when I finally caught my first cod, I had officially found my new love in life! Hence, I've maintained a position on the committee even after I left the council. You could say I'm officially hooked.
What many don't know is that this competition is now up there among some of Leeton's biggest and best events now attracting almost 600 registered anglers and over 1000 day-visitors to the weir over the long weekend.
With a larger social media reach than any other local event, I'm aware this competition attracts a diverse range of attendees from all over Australia. All demographics are equally represented. And they're coming from everywhere.
The committee is a group of hard-working, family-focused individuals who also share a common passion for the river. Like planning any project of this scale, it certainly has its trying moments but we always manage to come together to pull off a wonderful event and more importantly, come together as a great group of friends.
While my volunteering days in the future may be unknown, this event, in particular, will always hold a special place close to my heart.