The 3rd AGM and Conference of the National Federation of Anglers took place last weekend at the impressive Trent Vineyard in Nottingham where delegates from angling clubs, individual members, commercial fisheries and also the tackle trade travelled across the country to join the NFA’s ‘March to Increase Participation’.
The conference focused on the key message of helping more people go fishing more often which at present is one of the key issues in angling. More anglers will mean that the whole of the sport can benefit with more members for clubs and more customers for fisheries and the tackle trade helping us achieve our overriding objective of creating a sustainable sport.
Prior to Conference the NFA had opened it doors to the angling community providing both non-members and non-member organisations the opportunity to attend. It was no surprise that there was a strong turnout with over 100 delegates attending. Preceding the question and answer session in the afternoon, there were also a number of drop in sessions on angler safety, angling development and the use of the internet and new technologies in angling which proved to be extremely popular.
The question and answer session provided an opportunity for anglers to put their questions to some of the leading figures in angling. The panel consisted of Dafydd Evans, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, Sean O’ Driscoll from the Angling Trade Association, Simon Salem, Head of Marketing and Communications from British Waterways, Jackie Sheldon, Senior Development Manager at the Angling Development Board and two times World Champion, Matt Godfrey.
The session went down exceptionally well, with delegates being given the opportunity to quiz key decision makers on issues that affect angling. All the participants had their fair share of questions with junior international angler Matt Godfrey providing some interesting insights into coarse fishing at elite level.
The NFA also recorded a first by broadcasting the Conference live to the internet, which can be viewed online via our website www.nfadirect.com/.
Commenting on the conference, Warrington AA club secretary Frank Lythgoe added, “The NFA’s venue for this year’s AGM and Conference was excellent and probably the best we have ever had. The Conference was great, providing anglers the chance to ask some important questions and the workshops provided valuable insight into the future of angling. I was very impressed with Matt Godfrey who was absolutely superb in the question and answer session. He was a breath of fresh air with his enthusiasm to get involved and willingness to help more youngsters follow in his footsteps into the sport.”
Steve Gray of www.allthingspiscatorial.com also commented, “For me, the conference had a duel benefit. Firstly, it was the best place to hear the latest news regarding the future of our sport, including angling unity. Secondly it was the perfect place to meet old friends – and make new ones. In addition, as the webmaster for www.allthingspicatorial.com, it was the ideal opportunity to discuss the latest developments within the ADB and the future of angling coaching across all disciplines.
Dafydd Evans, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency who took part of the question and answer session added, “The conference was well run and a good forum for people to discuss topical issues. I was pleased the Environment Agency were invited to hear and answer people’s questions’.