Wakefield teenager scoops silver in national school fishing awards
Wakefield MP welcomed 15 year old Cathedral Academy student Michael Taylor to Parliament on 27 June and watched him take the Silver Award in the Countryside Alliance Foundation's Fishing for Schools Awards.
Fishing for Schools is an educational course organised by The Countryside Alliance Foundation – the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance – run by angling personality, Charles Jardine. It provides short angling courses for youngsters at schools across the country aimed at 14-16 year olds who might not respond to traditional classroom-based learning, but flourish when you get them outside onto the water.
The students gain confidence, self-esteem and really start to focus on what they want to do. Some participants have various special educational needs, meaning angling can be used as a communication tool and can really bring these youngsters out of their shells.
Each school that participated in the course was asked to nominate a "Champion" and were invited to come to London to tell politicians just what it means to them to go fishing, and to demonstrate how getting out of the classroom can be enormously beneficial.
Mary said: “I was delighted to meet Michael and see him win silver for Wakefield in this national competition. As well as developing his skills, the experience has done wonders for his confidence and self-esteem. This shows how important and valuable outdoor learning is for young people. Well done to Cathedral teachers Chris Dyer and Andy Darby for nominating Michael and accompanying him to Parliament. Teachers who go the extra mile for their students are worth their weight in gold.”
Cathedral Academy teachers Chris Dyer and Andy Darby, said: “Michael was an enthusiastic and eager participant in the course. During the making, tying and learning stages of the course, he was always asking questions and was very excited to learn of new skills, techniques and information about the subject. He was delighted when he became the first member of our team to catch a fish.
“Michael has never had the opportunity to do fly fishing and since returning from the trip, has constantly reminds us of his experiences and “the time he caught the big fish”. He has also returned and been fishing with his Father. The whole experience has obviously built up his confidence and self-esteem as well as his skills in fly fishing. It has truly been a worthwhile and rewarding experience for him.”
Charles Jardine, Director of Fishing for Schools, said: “Michael is a tremendous example of what can be achieved through the Fishing for Schools course. Although a quiet young man, Michael came alive on the water and fully deserves his silver medal – if just for his first catch: a whopper! The awards were a great success and we are very fortunate that Charles Walker MP and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Angling are sponsoring this event and is hugely supportive of what we are doing.”