Tuesday, 09 September 2014 08:45

Schools Urged To ‘Get Kids Fishing!’

The Environment Agency (EA) has teamed up with the Angling Trust in a joint venture to encourage school to offer young people the chance to try fishing. 
The sport in known to have proven health, social and educational benefits, where it can be used to help pupils improve personal skills such as communication, concentration and discipline, and even reduce crime and truancy.
There is already a school in the North West leading the way, Smithills, which has been working closely with the EA and Bolton Angling Club to add angling to the curriculum, where pupils are offered on-site fishing activities, by seven members of staff who are professionally qualified angling coaches.
“Fishing has become part of school life. It allows pupils to learn about the environment especially about the water cycle, the value of water, weather patterns and the effect humans can have on all of these,” said Smithills headteacher Alec Cottrill.  

“Fishing is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors, has great health, welfare and educational benefits and it is important to our economy,” added Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the EA. 
“Smithills is an excellent example of how a school is using fishing to help pupils learn. We’d really like to see more schools doing the same.”
Surveys show that more than 10 per cent of 12-year-olds have already been fishing and as many again would like to go – if they had a little help. Angling can play a very cost-effective role in helping young people suffering from exclusion. 
Projects such as Get Hooked on Fishing use angling as a tool to help social inclusion and show very high success rates.

Get Hooked on Fishing has been helping young people, their families and communities access the personal, social, educational, health and well-being benefits of fishing for almost 15 years.  Our work can create life-changing opportunities,” added Get Hooked on Fishing’s Sarah Collins
Any school interested in finding out more, should contact the Angling Trust where a regional officer can help link a qualified and licenced angling coach to a school and help ensure that high standards are established early on.

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