Junior world angling champion Matt Godfrey from South Yorkshire is hoping to mentor youngsters in his favourite sport after signing up to become a qualified coach.

The 18 year-old, who is the only person to win the junior world championship three times, will be joining his dad Kevin on the two-day course and hopes that his expert tuition and experience will help to encourage others to take up a rod and line.

The Environment Agency is paying for Matt and Kevin’s training and is always keen to hear from others who have the experience and commitment to become a qualified coach.

Matt said: “When I first started fishing, I had loads of help from qualified National Federation of Anglers coaches who I have a lot to thank for what I have been able to achieve.

“By becoming a qualified coach myself, it will enable me to put something back into angling, and help develop young anglers in this fantastic sport.”

Environment Agency fisheries officer for Yorkshire Pete Turner said good coaches were needed to help attract people to the sport.

“Our research shows that people who attended one of our angling taster days have gone on to fish again during the following 12 months. This is good news and shows that there is interest out there from people to give the sport a go.

“Having a committed coach is vital to helping a novice angler get off to a good start. As well as teaching them the basics, they can show people how to handle the fish, and ensure that it returns to water in a healthy condition.”

Matt has already signed up to become a qualified coach with the Sheffield-based “Get Hooked on Life” which was established by Woodthorpe Development Trust in the city to promote activities, events and training for young people.

Karl Barton, Woodthorpe Development Trust Manager and chief executive officer of Get Hooked said: “Matt is a real catch for us. He has worked with us before and has a real talent when working with young people. We are incredibly pleased to be working with the Environment Agency and can’t thank them enough for their support. We want to inspire young people and having the three times junior world angling champion as a mentor will be brilliant.”

For more information visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk

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