In 2007 the Foxbar Angling Club obtained a modest amount of funding from Strathclyde Police and the Renfrewshire Wardens Service to enable them to hire some mini-buses and small coaches to take hard-to-reach children from the Foxbar area of Paisley on fishing trips.This was done over a period of about a year and included coarse, sea and fly fishing.
The idea was to provide local children with an opportunity to learn about fishing in a supportive and positive environment. Most probably hadn’t had this kind of experience before. It provided an enjoyable learning experience with positive role models, with ‘fishing’ as the ‘hook’! The project was delivered by experienced adults in the club. A local fishing tackle shop also provided training on how to use fishing gear and all participants completed water safety training.
The club has been involved in a range of initiatives over the years. For example, the Clyde and Western Region held a coaching event at Erskine introducing youngsters to sea angling. The event was supported by the St. Ninians and Foxbar angling clubs and Sea Angling Coaches from the SFSA Clyde and Western Region under the umbrella of AFYD (Angling for Youth Development). From a sea angling perspective this is the first stage in developing a programme to introduce this aspect of fishing and encourage interest in the sport.
Word of mouth is very effective publicity, and the queues at the mini-buses grew every week. Demand soon outstripped provision! Having club members willing to put in the time was key to being able to run the project. Securing disclosure and parents permission were also crucial. A lot of work was required to deliver the project, so Foxbar teamed up with other fishing clubs to do this in partnership. Fishing is naturally an appealing activity and can provide an invaluable, positive experience for children from more deprived areas who may benefit greatly. The idea of doing it came direct from club members and therefore they enjoyed making a difference.
“I have never seen so many youngsters being so enthusiastic about peeler crabs and rag worms! I think it was a great day out and even better when some fish were caught. It did rain on the day but it didn’t deter anyone there as they were full of enthusiasm and desperate to catch a fish. Well done to all involved in organising the event. It is good to see people putting time in at grassroots level to develop interest in the sport of sea angling.”
“All of the kids who came along wanted to go on the next fishing trip available.”
“Well done! It looks as if the kids had a good time out. Victory! Victory!”