Take the First Exit!

24 January 2019

Richard Hadley, Angling Trust Coaching Centre Manager and Lead Safeguarding Officer offers his perspective on how we can encourage newcomers to join our angling clubs…

If you’re looking to increase angling club membership, you’ll have to strategically plan an “Exit Route” following your taster sessions. As coaches this means that we have get into the same mindset as a service industry… i.e. defining exactly what it is that visitors to our session want and expect, rather than what we want for our club.

It’s prudent then to look after visitors as well as actual angling participants, especially when working with juniors, as its their parents that fetch and carry young people to events (…tell me about it!).

Most important though is to have that exit route into the club. A scheduled delivery-programme is ideal and CAST Levels 1 and 2 are probably best for complete newcomers.

Any planned exit route should be constructive, consist of 4 to 6 sessions that are a couple of hours long, be well presented, clearly set out to attendees and give preference to prior attendance – preferably at one of your taster-sessions.

Always offer to help attendees get a fishing licence. This can be done using their phone (either at https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences or by calling 0344 800 5386). Offer to put them in touch with a contact person, preferably a Club Welfare Officer. If your club or fishery doesn’t have a Club Welfare Officer let them know that training is free from the Angling Trust. A Club Welfare Officer will create a child-friendly environment and will liaise with the club and visitors to its fisheries, open days or fishing events. To find out more about Exit Routes, CAST Levels 1 and 2 and the free training for Club Welfare Officers, you or your clubs or fishery can simply contact my colleagues Darren or Dave – details below.

Darren Birch
Club & Fishery Development Officer (West)
Angling Trust
[email protected]
07791 164 921

Dave Munt
Club & Fishery Development Officer (East)
Angling Trust
[email protected]
07854 239 715


Richard Hadley
Angling Trust Coaching Centre Manager and Lead Safeguarding Officer
07720 974811 | [email protected]