Angling celebrated a brilliant start to the New Year after receiving a staggering £1.56m boost from Sport England.
The huge cash injection – the largest sum the sport has ever received as a handout –coincides with the creation of The Angling Trust, the new body charged with safeguarding fishing’s future.
While many other sports received a 20 per cent rise on their previous grants, bosses at Sport England rewarded angling with a 30 per cent increase. The government agency handed the cash to the Angling Development Board (ADB) – a group which as of yesterday became part of the Angling Trust. ADB chairman David Moore believes it proves fishing is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
He said: “We were one of 46 sports invited to bid – itself an achievement because a year ago angling was being openly challenged to qualify as a sport by the previous chairman of Sport England. Considering we were bidding against Olympic sports, we are very pleased with the outcome.”
Before receiving its funding, the ADB was asked to propose a package of measures aimed at growing and sustaining the sport of angling, as David went on to explain.
“The first area identified was the problem of young people who are introduced to the sport but not converted into long-term anglers. Other sports have better links between schools, coaches, clubs and facilities, but these are widely fragmented in angling. The funding will help start a regional network which can access local and regional funding and bring schools, clubs, coaches and facilities together.”
Meanwhile, Angling Trust boss Mark Lloyd believes that the cash justifies the decision to bring all the governing bodies under one roof: “It shows we were right to unite angling and I believe this is the start of things to come. If we show we can hit targets set by Sport England, I am confident we will build up a great relationship. Schemes such as County Sports Partnerships will recognise this and give us more backing to help projects in the future,” said Mark.