There can be few sports with a wider appeal than angling. Research has revealed that more than four million British people enjoy fishing, and they include many well-known personalities from the ranks of the rich and famous.
As one of the UK’s most famous TV faces, Chris Tarrant has an angling obsession that started when his granddad took him fishing on the Thames for perch when he was aged about four.
Chris confessed: “I can’t imagine my life without fishing. I have met lots of people who have become really good, close friends over the last 30 or 40 years.
“I fish on the rivers in this country a lot – particularly the Kennet and the Avon. There’s always some sort of fishing rod in my car so if I’m filming for a couple of weeks and I get finished early in the evening I can just drive off and fish. There’s always somewhere you can go and it just chills me out.”
Chris’ love of fishing isn’t unusual. Stars of TV like Bernard Cribbins, Fiona Armstrong, Nick Hancock and Jeremy Clarkson join famous faces from sport, film and music such as Barry McGuigan, David Seaman, Sir Ian Botham, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen, Liam Neeson, Vinnie Jones, Eric Clapton and Roger Daltry in their passion for the sport.
Angling is set apart from other sports and pastimes because you participate on an even playing field. Young or old, male or female, famous or not – all anglers fish on equal terms and just taking part encourages relationships that have huge benefits for communities, families and the environment. Important, nationwide initiatives such as National Fishing Month can introduce and encourage anyone to have a go at fishing – irrespective of their age, cultural or social background or level of ability.
Chris continued: “Fishing has kept me focused and given me opportunities to experience moments in life that only fishing can give you. That’s why I believe that a concept like National Fishing Month gives anyone and everyone the chance to have a go and enjoy the sport that I love so much. National Fishing Month is a great idea, and I hope that many more people show support and take part in the events across the country.”
There are over 250 events currently registered on www.nationalfishingmonth.com so there are plenty of places for people to visit and try angling. It is hoped that over 15,000 take part which will be a record for the event, and everything is free!
National Fishing Month 2010 will be launched at the Go Fishing Show at Cudmore Fisheries, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. Qualified coaches supported by the Professional Anglers Association (PAA) will be available over the two days (17th and 18th July) to give as many people as possible the opportunity to try fishing.
The CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Alcester, Worcestershire (23rd, 24th, 25th July) continues its celebration of angling with an enhanced fishing village and coaching for anyone who would like to learn more about coarse, sea or game fishing. National Fishing Month will have its own teaching area where qualified coaches will be supported by the Angling Development Board (ADB), along with interactive games for all to enjoy.
There are hundreds of other events all over the country organised by coaches from the PAA and the ADB, on behalf of the Angling Trust, independent fishery owners, the Environment Agency and fishing tackle retailers and manufacturers who often give their time, their fishery pegs and loads of products for free.
National Fishing Month Co Coordinator, Naidre Werner, said: ‘This year we have a record number of events listed for people who are interested in taking part. Support from the trade has been excellent and response from the organisers and coaches has been outstanding. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have a go at fishing, then please take this opportunity to try. It’s a great outdoor sport that anyone can do – you never know, you might get to meet someone famous!’
National Fishing Month will begin on the 17th July 2010 and conclude on the 15th August 2010.
If you would like to take part and have a go at fishing, take a look at the events that are already listed on the National Fishing Month website www.nationalfishingmonth.com and enter your postcode. The events closest to you will then be listed and you can find out more details from there.
It’s not too late to get involved and organise an event of your own or support by providing ‘goodies’ or tackle vouchers. Just visit www.nationalfishingmonth.com or call 0845 459 9956 for help and advice.