Great to hear of our friends at the Angling School in Cornwall supporting the Cornwall Sports Partnership generating sustainable angling interest among members of the Adult Social Group of the West Cornwall Branch of the National Autistic Society.
The Cornwall Sports Partnership wanted to encourage ‘semi-sporty’ people aged 16-25 years into regular Sport/Physical Activity, creating enough interest in the chosen sporting activity to carry on after the completion of the project. Through it’s Sportivate project, four members of the Adult Social Group accepted the challenge to learn sea angling skills under the guidance of Angling-School CIC. During this summer they have attended four skills sessions, when they have learned the basics about tackle, as well as learning to cast and fish safely. They persevered in tying hooks to lines, learned about float fishing, ledgering and lure fishing, as well as the different baits to attract the fish they wanted to catch.
The skills sessions were interspersed with angling sessions on the Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth, starting with a cold grey evening in June. A few small pollack and wrasse were caught! On subsequent fishing trips, the weather improved and the perseverance of the anglers paid off as their skills and patience came into play and they were rewarded with some mackerel. The best fish of the trips was a mackerel weighing 1lb caught by Aaron.
At the final skills session, participants were presented with a new rod and reel each which had been donated by the Environment Agency. These were used to good effect on the Prince of Wales Pier for the final two fishing trips.
The success of the project can be measured by the independence and confidence which the anglers now demonstrate. One example of this is that Nathan decided to fish with a friend before we started the final trip. He helped and supported his friend before the rest of us arrived. All are now able to set up their basic tackle and to cast and fish safely in a public place. All of them have now been fishing with a friend or parent following the coaching.
Great work by John Brooks at the Angling School and everyone involved in this project.