Youth angling workshop

Earlier in 2012 IFI contacted all the angling representative bodies as part of our stakeholder engagement process. Arising from this correspondence and subsequent meetings it became clear that the there was broad agreement for the need to;

  1. identify how youth angling might be prioritised and developed through coaching and development programmes and
  2. examine how the sector might be developed and funded into the future.

IFI and its predecessors in the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards have been involved in a significant number of youth angling programmes and have some considerable experience, and success in this area. However it is clear that to expand our activities we would require the co-operation of the wider angling community. In August 2012 IFI organised a workshop at which a model for promoting youth angling which could also be used in an outreach context was discussed. All angling representative bodies and support organisations such as GAIA and APGAI Irealnd, Coaching Ireland etc were invited to attend.

Fishing for Answers

Fishing for Answers is a report by the Social and Community Benefits of Angling Research Project in UK which summarises the key findings from three years of research on the benefits angling delivers for people and their communities. It focuses on angling's contribution to six key areas: sports participation; health and well-being; the natural environment; community development; tourism and rural communities; and young people. Many of the findings are of interest to anyone working in youth angling and the report can be downloaded at

Workshop agenda

The agenda for the workshop was:

  • Introduction
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland - Youth Angling Initiatives
  • Agreement of area for discussion
  • Round table discussion
  • Conclusion


Those in attendance at the workshop held in IFI's Swords office on 27 August 2012 are listed below.

List of attendees at Youth Development Workshop on 27th August, 2012



Brendan O’Reilly
Godfrey Donohue

Irish Federation of Pike Anglers Club

Bob Seward
Der Casey

Angling Council of Ireland/ Salmon and Sea Trout Recreational Anglers of Ireland
Angling Council of Ireland/ National Coarse Fishing Fedeation of Ireland

Denis Dennison
Paddy O’Sullivan

Salmon and Sea Trout Recreational Anglers of Ireland

Geoff Quinn

Irish Angling Development Association

Paddy Byrne
John O’Connor

Recreational Angling Ireland

Eamonn Fogarty


Leinster Youth Officer, Irish Federation of Sea Anglers

Damian McElholm &
Peter O’Reilly

Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors Association-Ireland

Gillian Costelloe

Sports Partnerships Executive –
Local Sports Unit

Michael McGeehin (Director)

Coaching Ireland

Antoinette Gavin

Community Programmes Unit –
Irish Youth Justice Service

Philip Maher
Mark Patterson ( NI rep)

Game Angling Instructors Association

Pat Seavers

Blackrock Education Centre

Noel Carr

Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers

Charles Kennedy Trout Angling Federation of Ireland
Denis Cronin

Munster Trout Angling Federation of Ireland

David Byrne

Dublin Angling Initiative

Suzanne Campion
Mark Corps
Justine Barret
Myles Kelly

Inland Fisheries Ireland


Michael Conlinson

National Anglers Representative Association

Jimmy Jones

European Federation of Sea Anglers

George Behan

Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association

Matt Campbell
Campbell Baird

Trout Angling Federation Ireland

Ashley Hayden

Member of Carlow AC

Presentation by Mark Corps

At the workshop Mark Corps, IFI, gave a presentation on Angling For Youth Development and outlined how it might be adapted to suit our requirements. This presentation can be seen here.

{slideshare}[slideshare id=14766190&doc=sf-121017080739-phpapp01]{/slideshare}

Issues raised

  • Funding

IFI does not have the resources to fund the delivery of this programme. The hubs must become self sustaining through fund raising and sponsorship. If starting from a zero position (no trained coaches, no angling gear etc) each "hub" will be require around €5,000 to ensure that adequate fishing tackle and training for coaches is available.

  • Why the AFYD model

The AFYD model most closely matched IFI's objectives. The hubs are operated by volunteers from a diverse cross section of the community, many of whom are passionate anglers. Apart from the community based setting and focus on social responsibility there is also an academic path way which can be adopted to Irish curriculum for HETEC/FETEC awards.

In the UK the AFYD Trust promotes, facilitates, and encourages partnership working between the angling community, the police and public sector agencies in areas where interest has been expressed.

When an area AFYD partnership is formed, a project leader is appointed by the Trust to oversee the AFYD programmes delivery and a steering committee is formed by the partners within the area to support the programme. An instructional team is then recruited from the local community, which includes anglers and other interested parties, to deliver the programme.

The AFYD Trust assists in providing the new AFYD instructional teams training, the equipment required to deliver the programme, full copies of the courses modular lesson notes, a child protection policy, participant contracts, disclosure applications, generic risk assessments, and public liability and employer’s liability insurance.

  • The role of clubs

The programme adopted will see local clubs play a major role in ensuring the ongoing participation of new anglers and the infrastructure for continuous learning and competing at local and national levels.

  • The requirement for qualified coaches

The programme adopted will require the participation of qualified coaches to give a good introduction to Angling and also ensure the safety of the children involved. Each hub would be expected to have at least one qualified coach (Level 2 or equivalent) to act as Team Leader. Coaching Ireland is working with the various Federations and  to ensure that the standard of each of the angling coach qualifications available in Ireland at present is consistent with their needs for their sport.

  • Communications

The programme adopted will have clear procedures in place and will include a requirement for reporting on the activities of the local hub.

  • Promoting angling to adults

The hubs will be able to operate as many activities in a year as they can and can also work at involving adults. In many cases working with parents / guardians and young anglers will probably yield more success than working with youths in isolation.

  • Should not focus solely on outreach projects

The programme adopted will be free to choose what elements of youth participation they wish to focus on.

  • Existing programmes

The programme adopted will see local hubs to co-ordinate their activities with existing programmes where this makes sense. Such programmes include Something Fishy, Fisheries Awareness Week, Dublin Angling Initiative, Angling For All and other local activities currently run by Garda Youth Diversion Programmes, Youth Clubs, schools and angling clubs.

  • Accessibility issues - for those with disabilities

The programme adopted will be inclusive and have clearly defined disability / accessibility policies and procedures.

  • Involving schools

The programme adopted will foster good relations with local schools.

  • The role of volunteers

The programme adopted will rely heavily on volunteers.