Charles Jardine writes: Just eight years ago, we had a “bit” of an idea at the Countryside Alliance. We would take young people fishing. But not just anyone; we would take young folk from all manner of social and geographic backgrounds; young people that struggle with their day to day and school work, those that try and avoid school at all costs and those that soar through the intellectual educational milestones. Over the period that Fishing 4 Schools has been operational we have come to realise that Angling – in it’s many guises – is a true sport for all; knowing no class structure or barrier, no IQ levels (when did you last catch a fish that cared?) no, well anything, really, other than a passport into a lifelong sport of kaleidoscopic proportions. A place where no two angling days are ever the same.
So we set about our little initiative in schools throughout England and Wales believing implicitly, that young people, irrespective of background, are very special and deserving of our very best efforts.
And that was – and is our credo at Fishing 4 Schools: Young people are worth it.
Personally, my time with F4S has been life changing and affirming: certainly, it has given me a view of life that has altered my world and perceptions. In essence, I have come to realise just what a vital role Fishing 4 Schools can play in young people’s lives.
I suspect most of us is evangelical about our chosen pastime, recreation – passion. But the chance to share that passion with others, grow a pastime in areas of society, religion and geography that are utterly alien to a rural concept is a rare and special opportunity.
That is Fishing 4 Schools; an initiative that knocks on the door of society in all it’s shapes, colours, creeds and prejudices and simply wants to take young folk fishing and explore a world of related educational topics. Just that.
So Welcome to our world – a place of learning, fish, a bit of education, some rain, some frustration, the countryside, learning, a bit of mud, and a good many smiles.
It is the best thing that I have EVER been associated with.
Follow Charles on Twitter @CharlesJardine