Fishermen across the country are calling for the Government to pile additional cash into supporting angling after Will Raison bagged England its fifth individual gold medal of the year.
The impressive achievement, which was accomplished on Italy’s Spinadesco Canal, took England’s individual gold medal tally in the separate World Championships this year to a record-breaking five.
Earlier in the year, Mark Addy took top honours at the veterans’ competition, and teen sensations Matt Godfrey and Callum Dicks bagged top spots in their respected age groups at the junior event.
Then Emma Pickering was confirmed as the best female angler in the world at the Ladies Championships, before Will stepped up to round off angling’s breathtaking year.
Despite the heroics of all our stars, Government body Sport England was unable to give any solid assurances that fishing would gain extra funding. “We are confident that Sport England will make the right decisions about levels of funding for the many sports governing bodies. The 2009- 2013 allocations are yet to be announced,” said its spokesperson this week.
Veterans champion Mark Addy believes angling has never been given the recognition it deserves and is pessimistic about whether things will change in the near future.
“While some of the national newspapers ran small columns about our achievements it is nowhere near enough when you consider the millions of people participating in our sport,” said Mark.
“In terms of Government backing, anglers have been promised things in the past and nothing has ever happened, so it will probably be the same story this time round,” he added.
Senior officials from within the sport remain confident that they can use this year’s success as a springboard to gaining further resources.
“Our submission to Sport England for more funds is currently being redrafted and if it all goes to plan we should end up with more money to plough into developing the talent pool,” said National Federation of Anglers chief executive Paul Baggaley.
“I would hope our success this year helps to have a positive effect on the financial support angling receives,” he added.