Get Fishing is the Angling Trust’s campaign to get more people fishing more often. Each year we run hundreds of events for all ages and abilities. They are funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income
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Angling Trust Division 2 National – statement and apology from Steve Fitzpatrick, Head of Competitions
Following a disappointing delivery of the Division 2 National Championships on the Warwickshire Avon at the weekend I wish to publicly apologise for the errors surrounding the event.
This match did not reach the standard I, or our competitors, expect and I wholeheartedly apologise for any distress caused to anyone affected by the mistakes made.
An admin issue was spotted on the eve of the match which meant our usual, tried-and-trusted draw and resulting software and organisational procedures were unable to be used and so a new system was implemented at short notice.
While not perfect, it did allow the event to continue. However, further human errors on recording and inputting of results, in respect to matching anglers to teams and how points were calculated, were also found. As soon as we were aware of these, we contacted captains of the affected teams to apologise and explain.
We did not set out to spoil the experience of fishing a National and will be learning from the mistakes made. Our Nationals aren’t an automated process, there are human beings at every step of the way.
Our staff work incredibly hard to deliver the breadth and volume of events, they don’t make mistakes intentionally but clearly, we are accountable to our members and where a serious error is made, we will investigate and take appropriate action.
Throughout November and December, I will be running a series of consultations with key stakeholders, anglers, and grass roots supporters of our events to help us shape our competitions for 2023 and beyond.
This is only my first few months in the role, and it is clear the core competitions team of five staff ALONE isn’t enough to deliver the volume of events we organise and run each year – over 250 competitions – as well as management of over 40 international Team England squads. A recruitment process has been ongoing throughout the summer to find much-needed resource, but this has proved unsuccessful.
Angling Trust CEO, Jamie Cook, added: “Steve and his team will be carrying out full review of this and other major events run this year, will be working with managers, captains and volunteers to understand where improvements need to be made and they will have my full support in this review and implementing the necessary changes as we rebuild the team.”
My thanks go out to the support we have received from our hard-working volunteers, match organisers and stewards – without you we couldn’t run events at all – but we need more help. If you have spare time, the right skills and knowledge, and want to help shape our events then please get in touch directly with myself – [email protected]
On behalf of the Angling Trust and Competitions team, my apologies to the teams and anglers impacted by the mistakes that were made.
We will be defined by how we improve next year and my promise to you is that we will run events which we are proud of and deliver a positive experience to everyone who fishes.
Steve Fitzpatrick, Head of Competitions, Angling Trust