The recent attendance of many young people at the tuition sessions at the Kippax Park Fishery during the National Fishing Month was great for the sport and proved that the youngsters have a great interest in angling.
On the day that I attended I had quite a chat with some of the adults who had brought their children to the event and the question was raised many times about the subject of angling being put on the educational agenda.
Since that day I have found out that in some parts of the country angling tuition is on the school curriculum and the sessions are very well attended. One of the first schools to take up the challenge is Bolton’s Smithies Secondary School and was the brainchild of the headteacher Alec Cottrill, who is himself a lifelong angler.
He said that the subject of fishing is available to every pupil and he stresses that it allows them to learn about the importance of water, weather patterns, and the effect that humans can have.
Fishing can also be linked to numeracy as pupils learn about measuring water depths and using different weights to balance floats.
Pupils between 11 and 16 have also been given access to a lake which is conveniently situated in the school grounds and is controlled by the owners, Bolton Angling Club, who also provide qualified angling coaches teaching everything from casting to fish care. It is hoped that other schools in the area will follow their lead.
An official at the local Environment Agency said that schools such as this set a great example and they would like to see even more young people try their hand at fishing.
Angling is now being recognised for its wider social, economic and educational benefits. We work very closely with the Angling Trust which leads on to increasing the angling participation and the training of coaches in England.
The increasing interest among girls, as I reported recently following junior coaching sessions I attended at Kippax, highlights the growing trend for young people getting involved in angling.
Schools interested in angling tuition should visit www.anglingtrust.net or www.fishinginfo.co.uk for more information about tution in their specific locality.
Steve Horner won the much sought after Old Ball Cup at Yarnbury Angling Club’s latest competition.
The Calverley man won the tournament, which was held in Fiskerton, Nottinghamshire, on the banks of the River Trent, with a mixed bag weighing in at 8lbs 13oz.
Despite the conditions not being particularly ideal, Horner alternated between the pole and the whip to target the silver fish and put together his winning haul off peg 18.
Horsforth’s Dave Ather narrowly missed out on victory after a late barbel, backed by a few silvers, pushed up his offering to 7lbs 12oz which was good enough for second place.
Gary Hobbs’ barbel came in at 5lb 11oz, meaning he had to settle for third, whilst Cookridge’s Richard Juniper took fourth spot with a 3lb 8oz weigh-in.
The match was kindly sponsored by Diamond Windows Ltd.