A prestigious national competition aimed at attracting a new generation of anglers onto the nation’s historic canals is coming to the West Midlands this autumn.
The National Junior and Youth Canal Championship, sponsored for the first time by Angling Direct, is organised by the Canal & River Trust, Angling Trust and the Izaak Walton (Stafford) Anglers Association.
The competition aims to show young anglers how prolific the nation’s canals can be while giving them the chance to show off their skills alongside other like-minded young people to compete to be crowned as a UK champion angler.
This year, for the first time, there are two categories. The junior event is open to youngsters between the ages of 10 and 15 with 16-18 year olds eligible to compete in the youth championships.
Both categories are free to enter with the winners taking home trophies and prizes donated by the generous sponsorship package provided by Angling Direct. Furthermore everyone taking part will also get a prize.
The match is taking place on Sunday 21 October on the Shropshire Union Canal at Church Eaton in Staffordshire with fishing taking place from 12pm until 4pm.
In the lead up to the event, junior competitors who have attended one of our Let’s Fish events will have the opportunity to sign up for a coached practice session on the venue with canal fishing master and 2014 Canal Pairs Champion Simon Mottram.
To take part, you can enter here from the 11 June. There are around 50 spaces in each category.
Entries close on Friday 12 October.
To register your interest in one of Simon’s upcoming coaching sessions email email@example.com with your name, details of the Let’s Fish event attended and your ticket number. Simon has also helped us produce a series of videos to help people catch more fish from their local canal.
John Ellis, national fisheries & angling manager for the Trust said: "As a charity, we really want to see young people who enjoyed their experience at our Let’s Fish events come back to the canal again and try their hand at match fishing."
"The Shropshire Union Canal is absolutely perfect for young anglers as you can catch plenty of fish using the complimentary starter fishing kits that are available to anyone who attends two or more of our Let's Fish events this summer."
David Kent, National Chair of Competitions at the Angling Trust, said: "We all have a responsibility to try and secure the future of angling and, clearly, one of the priorities is to do everything possible to encourage youngsters to take up the sport. Most youngsters have a competitive edge so good, well-run competitions with plenty of prizes such as this event are therefore vital."
Oliver Harper, from competition sponsors Angling Direct, said: "As a keen angler from early childhood myself, I'm really pleased to announce Angling Direct's sponsorship of the Junior Canal Championships, taking place at Church Eaton in Staffordshire."
"Canals offer a fantastic opportunity for anglers, and encourage urban youngsters to give their own, local waters a try, rather than assuming that, without a landscaped lake or dramatic coastline nearby, angling is a sport that's closed to them. I passionately believe that angling is a sport for everyone, of any age and background, and I hope this event, on one of Britain's best known and liveliest canals, will help raise the profile of urban angling."
"With Angling Direct's sponsorship ensuring that no angler leaves empty handed, this should be an event to remember, and one that hopefully gives future generations of anglers the confidence to fully engage with everything our sport has to offer."
"On behalf of everyone at Angling Direct, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all involved – competitors, organisers, and supporters – the very best for this event."