ANGLING’S governing bodies have withdrawn their support for National Fishing week after its alleged failure to comply with new regulations.

Since January 2002, the National Federation of Anglers, the National Federation of Sea Anglers and the Salmon and Trout Association have been liasing with the organisers of National Fishing Week to find a way to ensure that the event would accept their standards for coaching and child protection issues, some of which are required to meet the Protection of Children Act 1998. They have not.

“Because National Fishing Week has failed to commit itself to The Child Protection Policy for Angling; to the sports requirements for coaches and volunteers to complete the Child Protection Disclosure Forms; and to the use of appropriately qualified coaches who hold a Governing Body Qualification in the coaching of angling, the National Federation of Anglers, the National Federation of Sea Anglers, the Salmon and Trout Association and Sport England are unable to endorse National Fishing Week 2002, and have therefore withdrawn their support,” confirmed a spokesman.

“The Governing bodies would also like to make it clear that information contained within some UK National Fishing Week 2002 literature suggesting that the steering committee includes representatives from each of the Governing Bodies is incorrect. The Governing Bodies have not given any mandate for any person to represent them on this steering committee.

“However, all three Governing Bodies support the notion of National Fishing Week, and have offered to reconsider their position for 2003 if the organisers agree to commit themselves to meet the standards set out.”

National Fishing Week takes place in August and attracts thousands of new anglers to the sport each year and over the past three years has been supported by a wide range of personalities including Bernard Cribbins, Chris Tarrant and Fiona Armstrong.

Organisations which have backed the event include major magazine publishers, the Metropolitan Police, The Sun newspaper, the Sports Council and British Waterways.

The aim of National Fishing Week is ‘to improve the lifestyle of the disabled, youngsters, the retired and other non anglers from all walks of life by introducing them to angling, a sport which can help them relax and enjoy themsleves’.

The event is one of the few which gains angling national newspaper and radio publicity each year. At the time of writing no-one from National Fishing Week was available for comment.