Angling Trust 2022 National Coarse Competitions Overview

Angling Trust 2022 National Coarse Competitions Overview


Following our recent AGM, Angling Trust Head of Competitions Steve Fitzpatrick reveals the highs and lows of the National Championships in 2022, including insight into the finances of the nine big events staged this season.


Hundreds of anglers have taken part in our National Championship events in 2022 and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in them, whether that’s as a competing angler, team manager, parent or guardian, event organiser, or section steward.

We’ve seen some incredible moments of match fishing in 2022 as we finally came back from the scourge of Covid-19 to a full-on calendar of matches starting in mid-April and running all the way to the end of September.

In an action-packed summer we’ve hosted National-scale events for individuals, teams, ladies, anglers with disabilities, older age groups, junior and youth anglers, and those who follow specific fishing disciplines.

There’s no doubting that the Angling Trust provide opportunities for all to be involved in competition angling regardless of your age, sex, ability, or location, and long may that continue, and those opportunities grow.

This summer’s competition program was an eye-opener for me. In April I stepped into a newly created role as Head of Competitions and, as you read this, I will have been in post for just over seven months.

In my previous position as Editor-in-Chief of Angling Times I was obviously aware of the big events the old National Federation of Anglers and then the Angling Trust organised and run as I had covered dozens of them as a reporter and photographer over the past two decades.

I knew that it was always a struggle to find a suitable, fair fishery which allowed upwards of 500 anglers to compete and catch well, I was aware that using the same venues year in, year out didn’t appeal, and could see that diversity in events was crucial to growth.

Once in post I became quickly aware that this huge calendar of events – over 170 across coarse, sea, and game disciplines and management of 38 England squads – was being delivered by a tiny core of just five individuals who went above and beyond to deliver a great fishing experience for Angling Trust members.

The volume of admin tasks, including the thousands of ‘phone calls and emails, ticket sales, banking, venue booking, safeguarding, risk assessment, angler support, and providing media coverage, has overwhelmed what has been a smaller, and transitional Competitions Team this year.

We’ve really struggled to recruit the support desperately needed to make the team and events run as smoothly as we wish, and you have come to expect from us.

But we are committed to improvement. It’s probably true to say that the early incarnation of the Angling Trust wasn’t fully focused on match fishing, but a relatively new CEO in Jamie Cook, and my appointment, should confine those old ways of thinking to the history books. We’re striving to get better all the time.

We’re actively recruiting for internal staff as you read this, but we also need your help. This year we’ve found it increasingly difficult to recruit local, volunteer organisers, and stewards to allow us to run events smoothly and in some cases that level of resource has created a make-or-break situation which sometimes has meant our target of gold standard delivery was missed.

I’m currently setting up a series of consultation meetings – both via Teams and face-to-face – and online surveys to gain valuable insight into how we can keep making our events stronger.

If you feel you can help, then please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at [email protected]



From the link below you’ll see all the unaudited statements from the nine National Championships we ran in 2022.

One enduring misconception of the Angling Trust is that we’re ‘making millions from match anglers.’ Even in my previous role I know that wasn’t the case and with a much deeper insight into the finances now in my current position, I can confirm that even the small surplus created from some events is reinvested back into match fishing – that’s how a non-profit organisation operates.

This may be a contribution to a loss-making, but important event to ensure it can still be delivered – in recent years this has been the case of the Junior and Youth Nationals, or it goes towards the funding of our England teams, or the purchase of operational materials such as scales and weigh nets, or the resourcing of the Competitions Team to deliver the event.

There’s a balancing act too. We strive to reduce peg fees and HQ costs to ensure more prize money can be paid out but do this without being detrimental to the member clubs or fisheries who kindly provide the support and locations for our matches.

Before you read through the statements, there are two things to keep in mind. Firstly, as you’d expect, 100 per cent of pools money paid in is paid back out. Secondly, these financial statements do not include any contribution to staff salaries or overheads – they are funded in a different way.

Thank you for your support in 2022, we look forward to meeting you on the bank in 2023.


Steve Fitzpatrick

Head of Competitions



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