The 1st National Angling Summit was held on 20th May 2002.
The 1st National Angling Summit was held on 20th May 2002. This government-led initiative heralds a new partnership between angling and Government. Chaired by Martin Salter MP, himself a keen angler, membership includes Salmon & Trout Association, National Federation of Anglers, National Federation of Sea Anglers, Angling Trades Association, National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives, Specialist Anglers Alliance and the Environment Agency. The group will meet a couple of times a year and the aim is to provide a direct line of communication to Ministers and coordinate angling lobbying efforts on common issues. Through this increased collaboration, Martin Salter hopes that we will be able to significantly increase funding towards the development of the sport.
During the meeting angling organisations were able to participate in a round the table discussion on a host of issues, highlighting our concerns and requests for help. Subjects included: profile of angling on TV, inclusion of angling on the curriculum and in LEA adventure centres and play schemes, funding of an education video, youth participation, access to other sources of funding, increased funding for the EA and predation.
We were then able to meet the Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, who first made clear the Governments’ support for angling and the important part that it plays in the protection of the countryside. The Minister explained that Government were currently trying to move sport up the political agenda as they recognised the wider benefits that sport can bring on issues such as social inclusion and youth crime. To this end, he was very keen to help find funds for youth initiatives such as S&TA’s educational video and the Angling Participation Project – a partnership between the EA and the Angling Governing Bodies to provide up to 50 urban fisheries in the next few years and use them to introduce large numbers of children and adults to the sport and provide somewhere for them to continue to develop their skills.
A full report on the meeting will appear here shortly but in the meantime the S&TA welcomes such an initiative, which clearly demonstrates Government support for angling and we look forward to positive outcomes for the sport.