BWS_AlexRichardsA teenager from Morriston Comprehensive in Swansea travelled to an awards reception at Parliament in London to discover he had won a bronze medal in the Champions scheme of Fishing for Schools, The Countryside Alliance Foundation’s national angling programme. Alex Richards was accompanied by his parents and two of the school’s teachers to Parliament and was thrilled to find that, having qualified for the finals by being crowned Morriston’s Champion, he had also beaten fellow Champions from across the country to take a bronze medal.  The gold was won by a teenager from Kent while the silver medal has gone to a schoolboy from Wakefield in Yorkshire.

Fishing for Schools is an educational course organised by The Countryside Alliance Foundation – the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance. 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. Michael was one of ten Champions in attendance on the day.

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.

Alex has continued to fish since going on the course, after the school set up an after school angling club. Alex also took on an angling Ambassdor role when he went to the Senedd in May to speak to AMs about his love of angling. Alex was described by Charles Jardine at the Awards as “an enormously talented young angler” who we all feel sure will continue with the sport.

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 supportive of what we are doing. Bringing fishing into Parliament like this has been a privilege and one we are keen to repeat.”

Champions from across the country are congratulated by Members of Parliament at the House of Commons