Supporting the future

In early 2008 I began the angling project at Annan Academy as a result of numerous young people asking me to take them fishing. It was also recognised by the school that it was a project which could benefit some of our more challenging pupils. I managed to secure some funding which enabled us to get started and the project has continued to develop from then. To date forty young people have been involved and I have another forty waiting to join.
As well as being a Behaviour Support Teacher I am a qualified and licensed angling coach and also part of the Angling Development Board Coach Education Team, responsible for the training of other coaches.
The project aims to:
• Promote and develop coarse angling for young people
• Teach angling skills
• Engage young people in a purposeful and practical learning situation
• Promote understanding and respect for the environment
• Divert young people away from anti social behaviour I was able to secure support from Daiwa who provided us with tackle at a substantially reduced rate. Good equipment is generally expensive and would have been out of our reach without this support from Daiwa.
Within the project we run three courses:
Introduction to Coarse Angling in Still Water
This consists of a two hour theory session, a written test lasting 50 minutes and a practical fishing session between three and five hours in length.
Introduction to Carp Angling
This consists of a two hour theory session, a written test lasting 50 minutes and a practical fishing session between three and five hours in length.
The Kingfisher Award
This is designed for those who have completed either of the above and wish to develop their angling skills to a higher level. It also contains a requirement to help a novice angler during a practical session, so there are elements aimed at helping others, working with others, and basic safety.
Those who successfully complete the course are awarded a certificate. We have also undertaken joint projects with the local police, who have identified young people who are at risk. Some of these young people have then become involved in the angling project.
Another aspect of the project has been the development of work with girls. We now have a small group of committed girls and we intend to expand the opportunities for girls to be involved.
As you can see from the photos, not all the fish are huge! But the sense of achievement and enjoyment certainly is.
The nature of the project means that we have to continually raise money and source funding for equipment and other costs. I am able to provide the coaching at no cost and the school provides transport as required as well as releasing me from my other duties to undertake this work.
We are just starting a new initiative with second year pupils. I have designed an angling course which will run for approximately ten weeks (50 minutes each week) and is designed to support the development of skills in ICT, literacy and numeracy as well as introducing young people to angling.
Without the support of our various sponsors and the school we would not be able to provide these opportunities so we are extremely grateful for the help we receive.