Teenagers from across England and Wales were honoured at Parliament this week at the inaugural Fishing for Schools Awards. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to three exceptional youngsters.
Fishing for Schools is an educational course organised by The Countryside Alliance Foundation – the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance – run by renowned angling personality, Charles Jardine. It provides short angling courses for youngsters at schools across the country aimed at 14-16 year olds who might not respond to traditional classroom-based learning, but flourish when you get them outside onto the water.
Each school that participated in the course was asked to nominate a "Champion" and these Champions were invited to come to London to tell politicians just what it means to them to go fishing, and to demonstrate how getting out of the classroom, far from being subversive and on the wrong side of the health and safety Police, can be enormously beneficial.
In Olympic year it seemed appropriate to award gold, silver and bronze medals to the three most impressive youngsters as chosen by a panel which included Trout Fisherman editor Russell Hill, Charles Jardine and fellow angling personality Keith Arthur. The results were as follows, and two of the medallists’ MPs were on hand to congratulate them in person:
• Gold Medal: Freddie Lee Turner of Bower Grove School, Maidstone, Kent
• Silver Medal: Michael Taylor of Cathedral Academy, Wakefield, Yorkshire
• Bronze Medal: Alex Richards of Morriston Comprehensive School in Swansea
Charles Jardine, Director of Fishing for Schools, said: “These youngsters are a tremendous example of what can be achieved through the Fishing for Schools course. They came alive on the water and fully deserved their medals. The awards were a great success and we are very fortunate that Charles Walker MP and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Angling sponsored this event and are so hugely supportive of what we are doing. Bringing fishing into Parliament like this has been a privilege and one we are keen to repeat.”
Alongside the medallists, the attending Champions were:
• Jordan from Abbey College, Ramsay, Cambs
• Laura from Honley High School, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
• Joint Champions Zach and Gabby from Grange School, Christchurch, Dorset
• Joint Champions Sam and Sophia from Robert Napier School, Gillingham, Kent
• Ojay from Tiverton High School, Devon
Other photos will appear shortly!!