Fishing on the timetable!

A school in Lancashire is doing its bit to introduce more youngsters into our sport after including angling on its curriculum.

Smithills Secondary School, based in Bolton, has teamed up with both The Environment Agency and Bolton Angling Club to encourage pupils to try their hand at fishing as part of their educational development.

The project, which is the first of its kind in the region, was the brainchild of Smithills headteacher, and lifetime angling fan, Alec Cottrill. He said: “Fishing is available to every pupil; it really has become part of school life here. 

“It allows them to learn about the environment, especially about the water cycle, and importance of water, weather patterns and the effect humans can have. Fishing can also be linked to numeracy so pupils understand about measuring water depths and using weights to balance floats. 

“The sport has allowed those involved to improve key personal skills including communication, discipline, organisational skills and good citizenship.”

The pupils, who range between the ages of 11 and 16, have been provided access to a lake, which is conveniently situated on the school grounds, by owners, Bolton Angling Club. With the help of EA officers and seven qualified coaches from the school staff, kids are taught everything from casting to fish care. The school has also organised a team which will take part in local competitions and it is hoped the project will encourage other schools nationwide to follow suit.

Steve Powell, fisheries specialist at the Environment Agency, said: “Schools such as this set a great example and we’d like to see more young people try their hand at fishing. Angling is now being recognised for its wider social, economic and educational benefits. We work closely with The Angling Trust who lead on increasing angling participation and training coaches in England.”

Any school interested in finding out more should contact the Angling Trust:

Schools can also find fisheries in their area on the FishingInfo website:”

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