Angling’s leading bodies are this week calling upon all fishermen, clubs and organisations to stand up and be counted to get the sport the funding and recognition it deserves.
The campaign, which is being fronted by Angling Times, comes in response to an online questionnaire from Sport England seeking to gauge opinion on how it should use £45m of National Lottery Funding.
Anglers Conservation Association (ACA) boss Mark Lloyd, one of the main forces behind the drive for a single unified body, believes angling has a strong case to make for a large slice of the cash.
“Our cyclists and sailors are making headlines for their efforts in Beijing, but Emma Pickering has just become the Ladies World Champion angler, a feat which went unreported outside our sport. Angling has more participants than most other pursuits and there has never been a more important time to stand up and be counted,” said Mark.
Sport England funding for angling presently stands at a paltry £185,000 pa, a fixed sum from 2005-2009, which is allocated to the Angling Development Board – a joint coaching venture between the National Federation of Anglers, National Federation of Sea Anglers and the Salmon & Trout Association. Subject to passing diligence tests, future funding, which is hoped will be significantly increased, will be passed through Angling Unity, into which the ADB will merge.
ADB chairman David Moore revealed that his organisation has had several meetings with Sport England, and he believes that Government bodies are finally beginning to take angling a lot more seriously.
“Angling’s social and health benefits are appreciated, but Sport England is more interested in the activity and skills side of sports when allocating money. We need to get rid of the ‘patient, waiting image’ of the angler and show the funding bodies the active side to our sport,” said David.
Sport England has directly funded fishing projects already, such as the hugely successful Get Hooked On Fishing (GHOF) programme for young people.
Chief executive of GHOF, Anne Moyle, said: “I hope that, if and when Sport England increases its funding to ADB or Angling Unity, those bodies will continue to recognise the need for grass roots funding. It’s vital in order for us to maintain our nationwide schemes, or kickstart new ones. GHOF is not just about teaching kids how to fish – we see a marked improvement in school attendance and the general behaviour of the pupils on our programmes.”
Have your say for angling
Where to find the Sport England Consultation:
1 Log on to www.sportengland.org
2 Click on ‘Get funding’ on the left hand column.
3 It will bring up a list of options underneath. Click on ‘Lottery Consultation’.
4 Scroll down and follow the instructions to ‘click here’.
5 Again scroll down and click ‘proceed to questions’.
6 Alternatively, you can phone the consultation enquiry line on 0845 850 8508 for a questionnaire to be posted to you.