Following discussions arising from uncertainty about the accessibility of the Fishomania Competition for disabled anglers, the Angling Trust and the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) have agreed to work closely together. They will be meeting up to identify ways in which disabled anglers can have greater equality of access to venues for leisure and competition fishing where safe and practical to do so alongside non disabled anglers.
The two organisations have agreed to meet the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), the national body responsible for developing sport for disabled people in England with a view to drawing up an action plan to increase the number and quality of accessible fisheries to serve the 44,000 Environment Agency concessional licence holders in England and Wales. This will include setting objectives for improved access, identifying funding to help fisheries with the cost of the works and seeking sponsorship for new and existing competitions. The Angling Trust is already working with the Angling Development Board to draw up a competitions and performance pathway which will include the needs of disabled anglers and which will assist in securing funds from Sport England in the future.
Disabled anglers wishing to fish in this year’s Fishomania competition should contact the Angling Trust on 0844 7700616 and speak to the Competitions and Events Manager to seek advice about the most accessible fisheries. If they are successful in securing tickets, they should contact us to let us know of their needs so that we can take all reasonable steps to accommodate them at the relevant fisheries.
Terry Moseley, President of the BDAA said: “access and facilities are extremely important for disabled people regardless of the sport or activity to participate equally, we are looking forward to working with the Angling Trust to ensure there is increased equality and informed choice to enhance the future of angling for all disabled people”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said: “There are about 10 million people in this country with some form of disability. Nearly all of them could enjoy angling alongside non disabled anglers. The Angling Trust will be advising all our member clubs and fisheries about the requirements of legislation in this area, and also highlighting the commercial benefits of reaching out to this significant market. Commercial fisheries in particular offer a fantastic opportunity to provide safe access for all.”