Working with local government agencies

During my police service I saw how many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds progressed to a life of crime and drug taking. TryAngling is my opportunity to use my knowledge of angling and broad experience of life to help give such young people an interest in a sport that will take them away from street corners and into an environment in which students are absorbing knowledge without being aware of being educated.

Learning and self esteem

Student with fishOne of the main advantages of angling as a sport for disadvantaged young people is that it allows participants to set their own targets without fear of peer criticism. Only the angler concerned can make a judgement on whether his targets are achieved and because of the element of luck involved, comparisons with others are invalid.

With the right guidance from experienced coaching staff, the student's sense of achievement can be highlighted with a positive effect on their self esteem.

Once a student has an interest in catching fish, he or she is often keen to learn more about fish and the rest of the environment. They are encouraged to read more about the subject and can be given direction in their studies by qualified coaching staff.

Pretty young girl with surprised expression, holding fishOne of TryAngling's main aims has always been to introduce newcomers to the sport of coarse fishing in a safe and friendly environment. We aim to produce all round anglers with an awareness of their natural surroundings and their place within nature.

An enthusiasm for angling can also lead to an interest in the environment and all students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge in as many fields as possible. Further reading is suggested and books and magazines on various subjects can be recommended.

Our experience

Pretty young girl with surprised expression, holding fishOver the past seven years we have run numerous courses with young people from various local government agencies, including Connexions, PAYP, e2e, YOT, SSB (Services Supporting Behaviour), the Northbrook Pupil Referral Center and the Looked After Children's Education Service.

As well as coaching we have created and run programmes aimed at encouraging young people to consider employment opportunities within the angling sector of the leisure industry.

Martin's background

  • Retired police officer.
  • Over 40 years of fishing experience.
  • Trained as a PAA (Professional Anglers Association) coach in 1999 and has been coaching ever since.
  • Specialises in teaching disadvantaged children and young adults.
  • Qualified in first aid.
  • Certified in Child Protection.
  • Registered with Sports Coach UK.
  • Carries full public liability insurance.
  • Advanced CRB vetted by the PAA (Professional Anglers Association).
  • Qualified to drive council owned mini-buses (Big Wheelers certificate).

About the courses

Class sizes

Group of Connexions students catching fish at a Twynersh lakeExperience has taught us that the maximum number of pupils for one instructor is four. To ensure the optimum attention for each pupil and safety concerns would prevent us from taking more.

Courses can be run with four students to one coach or eight pupils to two coaches. If a larger group size is required we can bring in other fully qualified PAA coaches to extend the number to twelve or more.

A typical day

Courses generally start around 10 o'clock in the morning when students are collected from the designated pick-up point and transported to the venue. Each day consists of four to six hours tuition. Digital photos are taken when fish are caught.


We have carefully selected a number of venues on the basis that they provide a safe and secure environment for students. Risk Assessments and Safety Plans for these venues are regularly updated.


Student with first fishAll tackle, bait and day tickets are provided, students need only bring appropriate clothing and a packed lunch. Courses are conducted in an informal manner so there is no need for a designated meal break. Pupils are encouraged to eat when they are hungry and drink when they are thirsty. The last thing we want is for the course to follow a school curriculum style routine - we fish because it is fun and although we insist on a certain standard of behaviour due to safety reasons, we want them to get more out of these courses than just "learning to catch fish".

Can we help your organisation?

I have found that a series of five or six one day courses, each of about four or five hours duration, works most effectively. The exact content of these courses is adjusted to suit the ability, knowledge and experience of the participating students.

Digital photographs are taken throughout the course and supplied to teaching, key worker or social services staff by email or on cd-rom.

Confidential reports and assessments on student achievement can be provided by coaching staff.

It is also possible to provide one on one tuition with those pupils who have shown aptitude or who would benefit from this kind of tuition.

Additionally, courses can be tailored to fit the needs and budget of your unit.

If you would like details of any of the above courses, please contact us on 01635 298987 or by email.


We are delighted that our courses are so well received by staff and young people. We have just added a feedback page and will be adding testimonials from key staff and students.