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Angling Trust Leads the Way in Disability Equality


Angling Trust Loughborough EFDS LEAD day-550px

The English Federation of Disability Sport LEAD day was hosted by Jess Cook from EFDS and run by EFDS Board Member and consultant Steve Town. It was attended by Clive Copeland, Head of Participation and Board Member Sarah Collins from the Angling Trust. Staff from the Angling Trust's marketing, coaching, funding, human resources and Disability in Angling teams were also present.

Angling has taken the LEAD in disability equality as its National Governing Body (NGB) the Angling Trust becomes England's first sports NGB to undergo Leadership in Equitable, Accessible and Disability (LEAD) training, led by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS).

As well as being used internally, the full EFDS "Improvement Plan" will play an important role in the Angling Trust's strategies to improve facilities for disabled anglers, encourage more disabled people to get out fishing more frequently or come back to the sport.

LEAD evaluation and recommendations will become embedded across the whole of this not-for-profit organisation which gets more people fishing more often, provides services and facilities for anglers, and campaigns on environmental issues affecting fish and fishing.

The training day was hosted by Jess Cook from EFDS and run by EFDS Board Member and consultant Steve Town. It was attended by Head of Participation Clive Copeland and Board Member Sarah Collins from the Angling Trust, as well as staff from the Angling Trust's marketing, coaching, funding, human resources and Disability in Angling teams.

Work carried out by the Angling Trust to promote angling and run events to increase participation by people whose health or disability restricts them from fishing more often, is funded by Environment Agency rod licence sales and Sport England, and gets tens of thousands of people fishing each year.

Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust said: "We are extremely proud to be the first NGB to carry out LEAD assessment. The important lessons learned will not only raise our game in working with disabled people but also influence our plans to get more anglers with impairments out fishing more frequently in coming years. 26.9% of people who no longer go fishing and 13.8 % of current anglers have a long term illness or health problem that limits their daily activity, and angling needs to respond now to the future implications of this statistic. Our recent work with EFDS has proved to be invaluable, but the opportunity to spend a whole day learning and being guided by their facilitators Jess and Steve was an incredibly worthwhile investment in time."

Jess Cook, National Partnerships Advisor, English Federation of Disability Sport added: "It's very encouraging that the Angling Trust has taken up this opportunity and carried out a frank and honest assessment of its activities using our LEAD Toolkit. We are looking forward to following their progress over the coming months. Through regular contact, we will help to guide their ideas and decisions. We hope they can lead the way for other NGBs to use the toolkit and as a result increase numbers of active disabled people through angling.

Will Smith - 07432 426 339 -
Jess Cook - 07764 291 660 or 01506 227 750-

Images: Please contact Will Smith for high resolution versions of anglers and families fishing together. A large version of the image above is available HERE. Pictured l-r above: Steve Town, Ben Snook, Stuart Sharp, Darren Birch, Clive Copeland, Sarah Collins, Will Smith, Rick Warner and Jess Cook.

Notes for Editors:
Full list of attendees and their roles: Also contributing to the planning session from the Angling Trust were Will Smith - Angling Promotions Officer, Darren Birch - Disability and Equality Officer, Rick Warner - Angling Improvement Fund Manager, Ben Snook - Coaching Development Manager and Stuart Sharp - HR and Business Manager. The day was also assisted by Ray Ashley, Head of Engagement for the EFDS.

The Angling Trust strives to position angling as an even more attractive option for the UK's increasingly time-pressed, aging and health challenged population so that they can become part of angling's £1 billion contribution to the English economy and the 37,000 jobs it sustains.

Anyone interested in going fishing can find angling events and venues at The free events listed are for all participants regardless of age, ability or previous angling experience. Venues listed provide information about accessibility and facilities.

Other NGB's which would like to take part in the LEAD Programme can contact Jess Cook at EFDS.

The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England.

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) works to make active lives possible by enabling organisations to support disabled individuals to be and stay active. Its work is centred around research and insight with disabled people as well as our engagement with disability and sports organisations.

The Environment Agency funds the Angling Trust to provide more opportunities for people to go fishing and encourage sales of rod licences. Money from rod licence sales is spent on improving angling habitat and infrastructure through projects like the Angling Improvement Fund.

Sport England is committed to helping people and communities across the country create sporting habits for life. It will invest over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding between 2012 and 2017 in organisations and projects that will get more people playing sport and creating opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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