The first angling students to complete the ‘Introduction to Angling & the Environment’ OCN qualification developed by the National Federation of Anglers, the Governing Body for Freshwater Angling have been presented with their certificates by Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe MP and Martin Salter MP on Thursday 29th November at Portcullis House, London.

The students were all from River Leen School in Bulwell, Nottingham and were the first in the country to undertake the NFA’s ‘Introduction to Angling & the Environment’ as part of their extra curriculum activity. With both the Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe and the Parliamentary Spokesman for Angling, Martin Salter MP recognising their achievements, it shows the important role that angling as a sport has to play in educating young people about the environment and also working to the ‘learning outside the classroom’ government agenda.

The government’s Parliamtentary spokesman for angling, Marting Salter, with some of the successful students from the new NFA Introdcution To Angling course.

Parliamentary Spokesman for Angling, Martin Salter MP (pictured above with some of the students on the banks of the Thames, commented “It was a real privilege to be able to host in the House of Commons the presentation of certificates to the first ever group of students to achieve an angling qualification as part of their school curriculum. I have long argued that the way to promote angling is to teach it in schools and colleges and I would like to congratulate all the young people, their coaches and the National Federation of Anglers on this groundbreaking piece of work. I hope we will be able to roll out this scheme the length and breadth of the country. And who knows, in years to come, some of these young people may go on to achieve great things in our sport as a result of being inspired to take up fishing at school.”

The Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe complimented the young anglers on their enthusiasm stating “This qualification can help get more young people into angling and build up a passion for the sport. I congratulate the students who completed the Introduction to Angling and the Environment course and I am encouraged by how the time spent on the river bank helped contribute to improvements in the classroom, highlighting the wider power of sport.”

Since these students started the course back in 2006, there have been over 100 course packs sent out to schools, youth groups and other organisations who work with young people looking to use angling as an education tool. In one instance, there is an organisation which has already registered 8 courses since the start of the NFA’s education programme. With such an interest in angling within these types of organisation, this is a very positive step for developing future participants in the sport and also using angling as a tool for education.

On the course they learnt about water safety, the countryside code, photosynthesis, the water cycle, pondlife, fish anatomy and fish welfare. Students also developed their numeracy and literacy skills whilst learning about curriculum subjects including geography and biology. Their attainment on the bank was also met with improvement in the classroom as their patience, concentration and attendance levels improved significantly.

Martin Salter MP  (far left), Gerry Sutcliffe Minister for Sport centre (left), Georgina Taylor (centre right), Paul Baggaley, NFA Chief Executive (right).

Presentation of Certificates of Achievement to school pupils:-

• Ashley Francis
• Joseph Harby
• Michael Holmes
• Scott Jamson
• Ryan Smith
• Georgina Taylor

Introduction to Angling & the Environment
An important aspect of the course is the integration of key environmental topics including the water cycle and the importance of water, the food chain and to increase the student’s awareness of the plants and animals which inhabit the aquatic environment.

The course can be delivered by a variety of organisations including schools, youth groups and voluntary groups that work with children and young people to provide a qualification which improves both their knowledge of the environment and their angling ability.

Students who undertake the course will get a taste of the fun and healthy sport of angling which is enjoyed by millions of people throughout the UK every year. Angling is not just about going fishing to catch fish but also to help people appreciate the environment in which it takes place.

For further details please visit the website,

The NFA would also like to thank the Environment Agency who supported the development of the project.