The NFA has received great support for the OCN in Angling and the Environment from Head Teachers around the country after promoting the course at the Sports Colleges Conference held on 1st and 2nd February last week in Telford by the Youth Sports Trust.

With over 1,500 Teachers and Head teachers attending the event the NFA had a prime opportunity to generate further interest in the course and increase schools awareness of the benefits which angling can bring to the students’ education.

Schools are being asked to offer more alternative leisure and recreation opportunities for students each week. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who spoke at the conference, emphasised the importance that sport can play within education; both in terms of increasing children’s awareness of the environment and in developing their numeracy and literacy skills. The NFA’s new angling education course can clearly demonstrate that this can be achieved through our sport.

The level of interest which the conference has generated has been very positive with schools from every region of the country signifying their desire to take up the course. With Assistant Head Teacher, Stephen Dove from Kent stating,

“The North School is Ashford’s Specialist School for Sport, Information Technology and The Rural Dimension. We actively seek to develop and extend our curriculum and enrichment activities to develop our students interests and a life long love of learning. We greatly value the outdoor classroom and seek to provide high quality opportunities for learning both inside and outside the classroom. It is important that our students respect the environment and understand both urban and rural issues in the community. Some of our students are keen anglers who I’m sure would appreciate the opportunity of gaining this qualification in a sport they love.”

It wasn’t only the teachers who found angling a hit as a number of professional athletes who attended also commented on their enjoyment of the sport. As we all know with Dean Macey our Ambassador for Angling, our sport is one of the favourites amongst our elite British Athletes. Katharine Merry, Olympic Medallist from Sydney 2000 commented, “Fishing is great fun”.

Julian Taylor, Angling Development Officer for the NFA commented, “The conference was a great medium for the NFA to communicate to over 1,500 key decision makers in education. We are confident from the level of interest that we have received, a number of schemes will be kicking off nationwide from September 2007.”