The Angling Trust is launching a new initiative to encourage more scouts to try fishing and get their angling badge by teaming up with its member clubs and fisheries to provide coaching to scout troops.
The Environment Agency created the angling badge for the Scouts 3 years ago, and nearly 50,000 packs were requested by Scout troops. However, the take-up was limited because many scout leaders didn’t have the necessary angling skills. This new joint initiative by the Angling Trust, with funding support from the Environment Agency, will enable expert licensed coaches to help Scouts get their angling badge and learn how to fish.
Clubs, fisheries and coaches will initially be matched with scout troops via the Angling Trust’s County Angling Action Groups, which have been set up by the Angling Development Board, which was incorporated into the Angling Trust at the beginning of this month. Licensed coaches and angling clubs and fisheries that have achieved the Clubmark quality standard will be used, to give the Scout troops confidence that they are working with individuals and organisations which have met the necessary requirements to work with young people. All scouts taking part will be given free Angling Trust junior membership and reduced rate fishing by fisheries and clubs.
Jackie Sheldon, Head of Participation and Performance with the Angling Trust explains “Angling is an ideal activity for scouts as it combines practical and mental skills with awareness of the natural environment and is something they can all enjoy irrespective of physical abilities. The Angling Trust will be building on this initiative over the coming years, with the support of our members, to make sure that every scout has the opportunity to get their angling badge.”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Trust said: “I cannot imagine any activity that is more suited to the ethos of the Scout movement than fishing. I hope that this initiative from the Angling Trust will enable thousands more young people to have the opportunity to discover the joy, wonder and sense of adventure that angling offers.”
Richard Wightman of the Environment Agency explained: “we have supported the Scout angling activity for about a decade. But while their enthusiasm for fishing was as high as we would all anticipate, delivery of angling activity was more problematic – for a variety of reasons. By directly linking the much expanded Angling Trust coach network to the Scouts who want to go fishing this new approach gets right to the heart of the issue.”
Any scout troop interested in the scheme can contact their nearest Angling Trust Regional Officer through the development section of the website HERE.