Representatives from a number of organisations involved in the promotion and development of angling met in London on 16th March, for preliminary discussions to explore what opportunities there might be to showcase angling in the context of the 2012 London Olympics.

The meeting was held at Farlows of Pall Mall, central London’s flagship fishing tackle store, and was attended by representatives from the Angling Trust (AT), Environment Agency (EA), Angling Development Board
(ADB), Thames21 (T21), and Farlows. Shadow DEFRA Fisheries minister Richard Benyon MP (Newbury), a member of the all party parliamentary group for angling, was also present.
Angling Trust Chairman Mike Heylin, who was present at the meeting said: “Whilst angling is not, and probably never will be, an Olympic sport, it is recognised as a sport by policymakers and funding bodies in the UK, and it remains our largest participant sport. We know that in 2012 there will be a lot of emphasis on encouraging people in London and elsewhere to participate in sport of every kind. The challenge for us is to see how angling might fit into the ‘festival of sport’ that an Olympic year will become.
This initial meeting was full of positivity, and a number of opportunities emerged that we will be looking at, not least the need to address obstacles to angling in a large urban environment like London. Our aim is to come up with a reasonable number of deliverable projects that enhance the public image of the sport, and to increase the likelihood that more people will have a go at angling, and discover all it has to offer as a pastime.
Those of us who met in London are not claiming to have a monopoly of good ideas, and the Angling Trust would be delighted to hear from anyone who thinks that they might make a contribution to the Olympics 2012 project. To this end we are asking people who have something to offer to make their initial contact direct to me at mike.heylin@anglingtrust.net

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