Fishing Field Trip

Can you imagine making your first ever cast, under the supervision of angling experts, in front of the Sky TV cameras? Well, that’s exactly what happened when we took 25 kids from Gilberd school fishing for the first time. 

The project, which is designed to give youngsters a taste of angling, is the brainchild of an ex-pupil of the school, Ali Hamidi. The year-ten pupils descended on Hintlesham lakes in Suffolk, for an introduction to angling’s special appeal. Ali had pulled in a few accomplished angling friends to help, and provide the kind of coaching that money just can’t buy! England internationals Adam Rooney and Jake Wildbore and former ladies international Wendy Lythgoe-Clarke joined renowned carpers James Turner and Neil Spooner to give the kids a fast-track induction into the mysterious world of angling.

Ali explained why he’d organised the day, “I’ve always felt that fishing should be more prominent in schools. To say that it has been overlooked would be a massive understatement! Perhaps people just don’t understand how angling can act as the spark to ignite interest in the natural world, sciences and geography? Not only that, it’s the only sport that I’m aware of that can bring people together from completely different backgrounds and give them a common passion. Getting kids together on the bank encourages them to communicate and definitely helps to reduce bullying and antisocial behaviour.”

The Sky Sports cameras captured the kids being tutored in some of the fundamental fishing skills, in small groups. The kids learned the basics of feeding, fish playing and of course, fish care. Wendy Lythgoe-Clarke ran the kids through the rudiments of pole fishing, Adam Rooney took care of waggler fishing, James Turner covered floater fishing, Jake Wildbore gave a method-fishing masterclass and Neil Spooner schooled the youngsters in the more technical aspects of ledgering for carp. There were plenty of fish caught, across a real range of species – just the kind of introduction that beginners should have!

“I was keen to put a day on to show people just how good fishing can be,” Ali told us, “Not every youngster will like fishing, but if two or three kids gained a hobby that they didn’t have before, and that got them out of the bedroom and helped them to apply passion to their schoolwork, then everyone wins. If they’re studying drama, kids are taken to the theatre, when it comes to sciences, then practicals tend to be lab-based, but here’s an opportunity for them to get out there, and get enthused.”

After such a successful day, Ali was in no doubt about the future of the event, “This day will become an annual event, and I’m looking to roll it out with other schools as soon as possible!”