Anglers have reacted with anger to the news that their sport will receive just £1.8million in funding from Sport England over the next four years.
Over the same length of time, badminton will receive £18 million, netball £25 million and golf £13 million.
The award is less even than the £2.35 million bid submitted by the sports governing body, the Angling Trust.
Angling Trust member, and coach of the U18s England match fishing team, Steve Sanders commented: “I am extremely disappointed, not just with how little funding that we have received, but with how the money that we are getting is being used by the Angling Trust.
Next to none of it seems to get through to any of our international teams – who are either self sponsored or funded by private companies. In order to continue delivering results on the international stage, we really need this funding.
The problem is, that anglers at the grass roots – and even myself, who is fairly well informed, don’t know where the money that we do receive actually goes. I am really looking forward to seeing the Angling Trust accounts at the end of the year.”
Despite the derisory sum, the Angling Trust’s Chief Executive, Mark Lloyd classed the amount gained as a success! He stated: “While we are disappointed not to have secured the maximum amount in our bid, this continued funding is extremely welcome at a time when government funding is extremely tight.
This success reflects the fact that the Trust has set a new standard in professionalism and governance, and that our development team have achieved real progress over the past four years .”
The funding is designated to go towards supporting fishing clubs, helping older and disabled anglers, and establishing a new club and fishery based competition.
Angling News Week Editor, Tom Scholey is not convinced by their plans however. “I was not surprised when I heard of the Angling Trust’s failure to secure angling any significant funding at the side of other sports.
Over the last twelve months, my dealings with the organisation has consisted of a load of hot air over a number of issues, and no action to back up any of their words.
With the exception of the good work carried out by Fish Legal, there is a widespread confusion among anglers regarding how our funding is used, made worse by the pseudo political jargon that they use in their press releases.
A paragraph from this mornings release stated that they plan to: “Focus on older and disabled anglers through the Let’s Fish group angling programme, delivered by Angling Champions at partner fisheries.” I have a degree in English, and have worked in the trade for the last three years, and have no idea what the Lets fish group angling programme is, who Angling Champions are, or what constitutes a partner fishery – and neither did any of the colleagues sat around me at the time. If we don’t understand it, what chance does Joe Blogs angler stand?”
DHP founder, David Hall said: “I think Tom’s comments are valid, in that like the NFA before them, the Trust is not transparent enough. The media could do much more to get the message out there, but the Trust need to talk to us. Only the media can get the Trusts message to the rank and file.
We also have an easy target out there – kids. The old and handicapped do not need targetting, the ones that want to go fishing are already going, it’s the youngsters we need to focus on.”