Angling Direct x NEACO – Take Your Place

The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (NEACO) is a consortium of five universities and eight further colleges in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which was formed as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) who aim to increase enrolment into higher education in the region. At the centre of its operation is the Take Your Place scheme, which identifies the specific needs of target students, the City College Norwich NEACO team then organises workshops to suit their requirements.

This is where Angling Direct come in, on Friday 17th May we teamed up with NEACO to offer a fishing taster day to a select group of City College Norwich (CCN) students, which primarily served as an introduction to a new outdoor pursuit for the students and a potential stimulus to explore the possibility of enrolling on a related higher education course such as fisheries management. Secondly, the time the students spent at the bank presented a crucial opportunity to reflect on the choices they plan to make in terms of higher education, one of the great things fishing has to offer is the chance to clear your head and contemplate certain aspects of your life, fishing has a therapeutic quality and is just one of the reasons many of us love our sport. With this in mind, NEACO teams, such as the one based at CCN like to offer a whole range of activities to help students explore what works for their mental wellbeing and felt fishing was a pursuit that could benefit their students.

Each student was paired up with a tutor, including ADTV’s Chris Collins and Steve ‘Widget’ Crowe, and armed with a 4m whip margin pole and a basic assortment of bait, proceeded to haul in fish after fish at the prolific Reepham Fishery, Norfolk.

The day culminated in a half-an-hour fish off to see who could put the most fish in their keepnet, the winning haul was fifteen fish and was the topic of much debate on the journey home! To hear young people talk so enthusiastically about fishing was not only the sign of a great day out on the bank but also encouraging for the future of our sport.

Over the years, NEACO have organised over 800 on these mentoring days across the region and the success of the day spent with Angling Direct is testament to the great work that they do and the commitment Angling Direct has to future generations of anglers.

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