The Angling Initiative

Active Essex

Hooking Juniors into Fishing

Whether you are you new to angling, or perhaps used to be involved in the sport and are looking for a group to join, the Angling Coaching Initiative (ACI) could be just the one for you!

The aim of the project is to capture young people’s interest, which will hopefully lead to a lifelong hobby. Angling gets children out into the countryside and engaged in wildlife. It also teaches them skills such as patience, in addition to the skills and knowledge sufficient for them to continue fishing on their own or with the support of an adult.

The partnership between Kelvedon & District Angling Association, Maldon Angling Society, Colchester Angling Preservation Society, Colnes Angling Society and now Colchester Piscatorial Society too, aims to bring juniors aged 8 to 16 into the sport of angling. Many of their young members do not have somebody to teach them how to fish, but the club helps to support the development of their angling skills.

The initiative host’s coaching sessions through May to October on a variety of local waters, split between the clubs. These courses are run by accredited Angling Trust Level 2 Coaches, Chris Burt and Graham Garnham. Each session caters for up to 20 young people, which equates to over 200 participants per year.

A group of Voluntary Assistant Coaches from the participant clubs are essential to the success of the courses. A number of these Assistant Coaches have gone on to get their level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications. Students will be taught everything to get them hooked, from starter sessions using a 4 metre whip, to full tuition on float rods, feeders and pole fishing. All tackle and bait is provided, with some fees to cover ACI costs.

Chris Burt, Angling Coach, commented: “We are proud of the coaching we can provide to enable juniors to learn how to fish and to gain the skills that will make them anglers for life!”

Over recent years, angling clubs have unfortunately seen the number of juniors fishing, reduce. Therefore, it is the Angling Coaching Initiatives hope that by introducing more youngsters to fishing, will help secure the future of angling as a sport.

One junior participant shared; “I like that my grandad is learning to fish too, so that he can take me fishing all the time. Every session, we learn something new, which enables us to catch more fish!”

In addition, the Angling Coaching Initiative has been working with the Community College Initiative (CCi) in Chelmsford, to provide angling sessions for young adults with complex needs. These are individually tailored and designed courses, incorporating specialist support and guidance.

Brett Case, CCi Education stated; “The CCi has had a number of students benefit from the ACI programme, which has been incredibly influential in getting our students out of their homes and overcoming their anxieties, especially after the recent pandemic.”

The Angling Coaching Initiative is a fantastic opportunity to try a new activity and develop new skills. If you want to find out more about the Initiative, please visit

For more information on the Community College Initiative, please visit