Pilots Are Flying

The Angling Trust’s plan to provide clear pathways for young anglers to compete at international level took a step forwards last weekend when 20 coaches recruited to manage this talent programme met for a two-day workshop at Loughborough University.

Jackie Sheldon, Angling Trust Head of Performance and Participation said “We have secured funding from Sport England for this scheme which will provide high quality coaching and a clear pathway for talented young anglers to reach the national squads in coarse sea and game fishing.  Most other sports already have this system and we are training our enthusiastic coaches to deliver a professional programme to develop talented young anglers to their full potential.”

Angling Trust’s Ben Thompson reported on the tremendous success of the pilot schemes run in the North East, North West and West Midlands last year. These programmes have already resulted in several young anglers being selected for the junior coarse and fly-fishing squads competing in trials and internationals in 2013.

Stuart Wardle, Head Coach for game angling in the Northern region said “the recent Induction weekend provided a fantastic opportunity to learn, network and share knowledge and views with all the other Talent Pathway Coaches from the different angling disciplines across the length and breadth of England on the ongoing development of the Talent Pathway for 2012/13 and beyond. As an experienced England International Fly Fisher, the opportunity to put something back into the sport I love is being achieved through the Talent Pathway Programme. I can only see the programme  going from strength to strength as it develops over the coming years and more importantly see more young and up and coming anglers with the potential to compete at elite level coming through the programme.  We have had early success through the 2011/12 project and this can only get better as the programme moves forward.  A special thanks should go to Ben Thompson for leading on the programme and all the AT Regional Officers together with the Angling Trust through David Moore and Jackie Sheldon for having the foresight to develop the Talent Pathway.”

This year these Talent Pathway events will be rolled out across the country and arrangements for coarse, sea and game will be announced shortly. Full details and applications from young anglers will be invited via the Angling Trust website at www.anglingtrust.net.