WHILE many couch potatoes will be watching England progress in Euro’2004 Football Championships, up to three million anglers and their work colleagues, friends and relatives will be taking part in the biggest fishing event ever over the weekend of June 21st.

Riverbanks, canal towpaths, reservoirs and fisheries will be lined with the nation’s anglers enjoying a great night out and helping to raise money for this year’s Sports Relief.
The Sport Relief  ‘Megamatch’ night is being organised by the Angling Trades Association (ATA) and the event will see the largest number of people fishing simultaneously. Organisers are confident sponsorship contributions from the country’s angling fraternity will top the list of the ten sports taking part in Sport Relief and will boost the overall total beyond the £14 million raised in 2002.
Brendan McKeown of the ATA said, “angling is the UK‘s largest participation sport and pastime and Sport Relief  Megamatch night is a fantastic showcase for anglers to prove it. Megamatch night will be unlike any other competitive match fishing event with the emphasis is very much on ‘fun’. I know many events have plans for BBQ’s and entertainment for the whole family.”
Tingrith Fishery in Bedfordshire has three pools dedicated to Megamatch, night offering a chance for total beginners, novices and experienced anglers to take part. Winners from each event will be entered into a draw for a national ‘winner’ to be drawn live on BBC1 television on Sports Relief night, July 12th.
This is the first year angling has participated in Sports Relief, which was set up as an off-shoot of Comic Relief. The aims of Sport Relief are to tackle poverty and disadvantage in both the UK and some of the world’s poorest economies. 50% of the money raised is spent on UK projects.
Sports Relief Megamatch night is supported by the Environment Agency, who are providing free Temporary Rod Licences to cover any registered Sports Relief Megamatch event.  This makes it easy for anglers and non-anglers to stage a Sports Relief Megamatch event.