Norfolk 6Teachers, fishing enthusiasts and the press gathered at the Assembly House in Norwich on Thursday 5 May to officially launch and discuss how The Countryside Alliance Foundation’s national Fishing 4 Schools (F4S) initiative might benefit young people of all walks of life and abilities in Norfolk and the eastern region.

For nearly a decade F4S has been inspiring young people to re-engage in the classroom, gain an angling qualification and develop new skills, build confidence and self-esteem – through fishing.

We run short courses for pupils, many with special educational needs, who find academic work difficult but respond well to alternative learning. They integrate aspects of angling – for example weights and measures and fish biology – into the National Curriculum whilst encouraging them to try a new outdoor activity.

We also run one-off taster days for children from local schools to come together at a fishery and try angling. We held a very successful Open Day at Lenwade last year (http://www.countryside-alliance.org/norfolk-school-children-net-the-benefits-of-fishing-4-schools-open-day/), which was the impetus for us wanting to increase the work we do in the county.

Director of F4S Charles Jardine said: “The launch of Fishing 4 Schools in Norfolk was a spectacular success and we now shall be running a number of courses with schools across the county. We were delighted that so many people turned up to find out about F4S and show their support. This will be very much a local project, run by Norfolk people to benefit Norfolk schools.”

We shall hold another Open Day at Lenwade on 13 September and are setting up courses with local schools at other fisheries in the next academic year.