The programme, which is one of the funding mechanisms of the National Strategy for Angling Development, awarded funding to 62 Irish angling events and 10 teams representing Ireland in overseas international events to the combined value of €30,000 last year.
Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, said: “I want to congratulate Inland Fisheries Ireland for making financial support available once again in 2019 for projects and events which will support novice and junior anglers and help grow angling tourism.
“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.”
The Sponsorship Programme supported 17 initiatives by local angling clubs during the year which included junior competitions, summer leagues, disability outreach programmes and angling coaching workshops.
In total, 630 juvenile and novice anglers participated in these initiatives and almost 300 of them joined a fishing club for the first time following their participation in a local engagement project.
In addition to junior and novice angling projects, there were 28 large scale angling events supported via the programme in 2018 with 1,866 experienced anglers taking part. Over 800 anglers travelled from outside Ireland to participate in these angling competitions, IFI says.
The events and initiatives which are eligible for funding in 2019 include:
- Large international competitions held in Ireland which showcase Ireland’s angling and contribute to local economies, supporting jobs and businesses.
- Novice angler events and training courses which increase participation in angling including funding of transport hire for participants to facilitate attendance at novice angler events.
- Initiatives to promote fisheries awareness and/or conservation and protection of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource.
- Initiatives promoting angling as a key Irish tourism activity, such as via high quality angling promotional videos, seminars, coaching, training, workshops, etc.
- Juvenile and minority angling teams representing Ireland at international events both home and abroad.
“Our 2019 Sponsorship Programme will play an important role in driving angling participation among novice and junior anglers,” said Suzanne Campion, head of business development at IFI. “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.”
Applications for funding from the Sponsorship Scheme are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative.
The scheme will remain open for funding applications until Friday 18 January with applications for equipment, staff support and biosecurity assistance available throughout the year. Awards will be subject to budget availability and adherence to the scheme requirements.
To find out more and to apply, see the Sponsorship Programme page on the IFI website.