The late and Masterful Argentinian Racing Driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, was once heard to say: “what is behind me does not matter.” A great and positive statement, but having a glance backwards does remind you just how far you have come. And goodness, Fishing 4 Schools has come a very long way, indeed. Last year alone we had two hugely successful open days where children across regions came to try their hand at fly tying, bug collection and identification and food preparation, as well as catching fish and casting.
That is only one tiny area.
Our initiative’s foray into a wide array of schools maintains its momentum and we are purely limited on our delivery to even more by being cost conscious and ensuring the very highest calibre of caring professional instructors. Frankly, The Countryside Alliance Foundation has, in the Fishing 4 Schools team, people of not only the highest professional credentials possible, but individuals who believe implicitly in what they do and always go the extra yard to help young people. I am humbled as director to have this kind of quality to call upon.
Then of course, our crowning moment, having the young “champions” celebration afternoon at Westminster.
This time we had outgrown the previous room and had to be housed on the Terrace Pavilion. There was no doubting that these fantastic young people stole the show. From Wales to Kent, from Dorset to Yorkshire, they came, some in wheelchairs, some needing assistance, some shy, some bashful, some with astonished expressions, some with street cool swagger, all with glorious “attitude” and smiles and a sense of fun that made us ALL young again, from the storied politicians to the committed teachers and carers. Amazing.
What this year? Well, with kind help of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers we will be entering the high tech world with a reworking of the successful Water Matters pack. We will be continuing to hold our ground breaking “open days” with one in the heart of Birmingham – yes, truly…Birmingham! We will be in Norwich, in Kent and with huge help and assistance from Eyebrook reservoir (and Tata Steel) in Leicestershire.
The initiatives will continue full throttle, of course, in our many schools and will embrace even more innovative paths into learning, education, nutrition – and the lovely sport of angling.
And if that wasn’t enough, we are in discussions with a major Angling organisation in the United States of America to look to start F4S USA.
Not bad that all of this came from an event at one school just eight years ago.
Oh! and the little matter of the director surviving the Marathon. You have donated …haven’t you?