Three young anglers from North Tyneside have become the first in the region to attain an official angling qualification, equivalent to a GCSE.
The teenagers have completed the Open College Network (OCN) An Introduction to Angling & the Environment qualification, which involved completing a six-month period of classroom study and practical tuition.
The young anglers are Rachael Shafto, 15, from North Shields, Tom McNulty, 15, from Battle Hill and Krystover Conley, 15, from East Howdon.
Fully supported by the Fishing Initiative North Shields (FINS), and the National Federation of Anglers, this accreditation is rapidly becoming accepted in schools and youth groups throughout the country.
The qualification focuses upon subjects such as conservation and the environment, health and safety, the country code, fish care, fishing equipment, bait and tackle, fish biology and the water cycle as well as practical coarse angling skills.
Robin Cant, residential childcare officer, said: "This qualification has been ideal for these youngsters, who may not otherwise have attained any formal qualifications. "
"We can see that they've been really inspired by the subject and have enjoyed the classroom theory work as well as the outdoor practical work. They now have an excellent knowledge of the issues covered, including the environment, conservation, and fishing, and a recognised qualification."
John Harrison, North Tyneside's Elected Mayor, said: "Enabling these young people to study something which genuinely interests them has paid great dividends. The three now have a recognised qualification, of which they should be justifiably proud."
Taken from the News Guardian