Twenty-four young anglers from across the UK were recognised at the House of Commons yesterday (15 November) in the Fishing for Schools Champions Awards – and MP for Ealing North, Stephen Pound, was on hand to congratulate Kieran Jones of the Alec Reed Academy.
Fishing for Schools is an initiative run by The Countryside Alliance Foundation, the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance. It provides short angling courses at schools across the country, to aid the education of 12 to 18-year-olds who may not respond to traditional classroom-based learning but flourish when you get them outside onto the water. It celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Many of the youngsters who fish through Fishing for Schools have physical, learning or behavioural difficulties which mean they are not always in mainstream education. Each school was asked to nominate one child whom they thought had achieved the most through the course to be their champion and it is these youngsters who were commended at the reception on Wednesday.
Kieran Jones was nominated by his teacher Nathan Bird, who said: “Kieran is one of our many success stories. He has turned around his behaviour, attendance and attitude towards learning. Kieran started in YR7 and got off to a rather rough start, he soon developed the reputation of an able student but one who chose to misbehave. Teachers were refusing to teach him due to his challenging behaviour, he began a bespoke programme which includes fishing and was diagnosed as having severe ADHD. He has now come to terms with his condition and continues to work with the staff to improve his focus and behaviours.”
Stephen Pound MP said: “I was delighted to attend the Fishing for Schools Champions Awards and meet Kieran. He and the other young champions recognised through the awards are truly inspirational. I thoroughly support the aims of Fishing for Schools.
Fishing for Schools director Charles Jardine added: “These students are a tremendous example of what is achieved through Fishing for Schools. Many of them have had challenging school careers but fishing is a sport without barriers and seems to have struck a chord with these students, offering something they can achieve and benefit from and teaching all manner of life skills along the way. I congratulate them all.”
Fishing for Schools is administered by The Countryside Alliance Foundation and works with schools across the country to offer short courses in angling which are geared to the National Curriculum and aid education. The courses incorporate subjects like weights and measures, biology, geography and much more. For more information go to http://www.countryside-alliance.org/the-foundation/fishing-for-schools/