Galway Eats TD Seán Canney has welcomed a sponsorship programme to “bring angling to the people” and encourage young people to pick up a fishing rod.
Inland Fisheries Ireland recently launched its Sponsorship Programme for 2019 and is inviting applications for suitable angling events and initiatives nationwide.
Last year the programme sponsored 62 Irish angling events and 10 teams representing Ireland in overseas at international events.
Deputy Canney, who is also the Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, said the programme did a wonderful job supporting novice or junior anglers.
“I support Inland Fisheries Ireland’s aim to help ‘bring angling to the people’ by supporting initiatives which help remove barriers to those looking to try fishing or for younger people who already enjoy the pursuit.”
“IFI is working to support events and initiatives which promote the angling tourism product with a view to growing angler tourist numbers and economic return.”
Last year 630 young people and novices took part in fishing events sponsored by this programme at 17 fishing clubs around the country.
As a result, some 300 of them joined a fishing club for the first time.
In addition to get people involved for the first time, 28 large scale events were held which drew massive attendance from around Ireland, and 800 anglers from outside the country.
The events which will qualify for funding under the 2019 Programme include:
International competitions held in Ireland, novice angler events and training courses, initiatives to promote fisheries awareness and conservation, and sending teams of junior anglers to represent Ireland at international competitions.
Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Our 2019 Sponsorship Programme will play an important role in driving angling participation among novice and junior anglers.”
“The Sponsorship Programme has awarded €30,000 per year over the past five years to angling clubs and groups nationwide to help in the delivery of local angling events.”
“In addition to supporting those who are casting for the first time, we also have a unique opportunity to grow our angling tourism product.
“The Sponsorship Scheme offers clubs and associations an incentive to engage overseas anglers to visit our renowned wild fisheries and to enjoy fishing here in a conservation focused manner.”
IFI’s Nation Strategy for Angling Development aims to provide supports to make angling more accessible and develop it as a tourist feature.
It’s hoped this will bring significant economic benefits to rural communities where much of it takes place, while still conserving fish stocks and habitats.
Applications for the 2019 Sponsorship Programme are open until January 18 to fishing clubs, groups or any local community that wants to organise an event.