Angling Trust forced to suspend national angling competitions for two months

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Government urged to amend travel guidance for outdoor sport​


The Angling Trust is pleased that the Government has confirmed the resumption of grassroots sports from today (Wednesday, 2nd December) but disappointed that the Government’s travel guidance has not included sport or outdoor recreation as an acceptable reason to leave or enter a Tier 3 area. This means their much vaunted pledge to allow the resumption of grassroots sports in all tiers has turned out to be rather hollow.

By not including travel for sport, thousands of sporting enthusiasts, covering around a third of the country, could find themselves unable to compete in regional competitions or national qualifiers for fear of breaching the Covid travel guidelines. Both the Angling Trust and England Golf have written to DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden calling for the travel advice to be amended.

In a recent Government press statement Oliver Dowden said:

“This is a big step forward for sport. Bringing grassroots sport back was my number one priority so I’m pleased we are reopening sports and gyms in every tier, in recognition of the significant health benefits.”

The reality is for residents in Tier 3 areas that their return to grassroots sport is confined within their own local authority areas making many competitive activities, which require an element of travel, simply unviable. The Government’s current travel guidance states:

“…avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.”

The amendment suggested by the Angling Trust and England Golf would add the words [organised sport and outdoor recreation] which would include match fishing and golf tournaments.

Whilst club matches and open competitions can run in all tiers, the Government’s new shifting system of tiered restrictions makes it unviable to run national competitions fairly without falling foul of the travel guidance against entering or leaving a Tier 3 area. Qualifying matches could only continue for competitors in Tiers 1 and 2 which would be unfair. Even if special Tier 3 qualifiers were organised, these would be restricted to local authority areas with a Tier 3 designation which are subject to a review every two weeks, making forward planning impossible. Unless the travel guidance is changed, qualifying for a national final from Tier 3 would be pointless since these competitors would technically be unable to leave their area to take part.

The Angling Trust Winter Leagues are part way through but the current travel restrictions make many of these problematic due to the wide areas from which the teams are drawn. However, should circumstances and Government guidance change it may be possible to resume the programme.

Martin Salter, Head of Policy at the Angling Trust commented:

“The Government clearly hasn’t thought this through properly as it’s a nonsense to think that competitive grassroot sports, like golf, angling and many others, can operate properly if confined within tightly drawn local council boundaries. It’s one thing being restricted to an entire county but quite another if people are told they shouldn’t leave a built up urban area to take part in a safe, socially distanced sport like fishing.

“You can’t have many grassroots sports without grass and we certainly can’t expect anglers in these areas to welcome or respect travel guidance that is illogical and unfair. For many outdoor sports people in Tier 3 the new regime is actually worse than the recent lockdown.”

Jamie Cook, Angling Trust Chief Executive, said:

“I want to be clear that Club and Open matches remain entirely permissible within all three tiers. However, in common with other responsible national governing sporting bodies the Angling Trust cannot be seen at this time to be organising events which would result in travel into and out of Tier 3 areas. And we certainly cannot continue to run national competitions culminating in a final where qualifiers from a third of the country could not attend. This would be monstrously unfair.

“Therefore, it is with regret that I must announce the suspension of all national Angling Trust competitions for two months or until travel guidance is amended, when the situation will be reviewed. This aligns with the new tier restrictions which expire on February 3rd.”

The Angling Trust will be contacting all participants and automatically roll over all ticket monies for postponed events or offer refunds where cancellations prove to be permanent. A review in early February of a hopefully improving situation would allow for the resumption of the Winter Leagues, Silverfish, Pike Championships and Fishomania. We will continue to review our programme of competition and update our competition pages with any events we are able to run compliantly.”

Andre Grandjean, Chairman of the AT Coarse Competitions Committee, said:

“The AT Competitions Committee have discussed this at length since the new tiers and restrictions were announced and we are in agreement that it would be totally irresponsible to continue with running matches that may encourage participants to travel across Tier 3 boundaries. It was also considered grossly unfair on many, that matches in Tiers 1 and 2 could go ahead and matches in Tier 3 were either restricted or cancelled. Therefore, we have come to the only rational and fairest conclusion possible and that is to postpone all Angling Trust matches until we can see a clearer path ahead.

“Match fishing is permitted in all areas on a local basis, you can still compete in the sport we all love. Take care and stay safe.”

Angling Trust letter to Oliver Dowden

Government announcement on 23rd November 2020

Government Travel Guidance

The Angling Trust publishes updated guidance on the Covid-19 Support Hub



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The Government's Winter Covid Plan saw a return to the 3-tier system today. We've produced this At-A-Glance guide to enable anglers to follow the regulations and fish safely. PLEASE SHARE
 

Dave

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Match Organisers and Fishery owners/managers need to put out a statement such as:

'The fishery/venue is in Tier<?> please do not put your name down to fish if you are coming from a higher Tier area'

And if the fishery/venue is in a Tier 3 area:
'The fishery/venue is in Tier 3, please do not put your name down to fish if you are coming from out of this area'

And end it:
'Anyone found to be ignoring this request will be turned away'

For guidance to work it requires people to act responsibly.
 

Peter

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By not including travel for sport, thousands of sporting enthusiasts, covering around a third of the country, could find themselves unable to compete in regional competitions or national qualifiers for fear of breaching the Covid travel guidelines. Both the Angling Trust and England Golf have written to DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden calling for the travel advice to be amended.

:mad: Frankly I find it astonishing that the Angling Trust should even think that it is acceptable to try to find justification to allow Anglers to travel between Tiers at this present time for a fishing match. :mad:

Crass and not what I expect to see from a supposed "Governing Body".
 

tipitinmick

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:mad: Frankly I find it astonishing that the Angling Trust should even think that it is acceptable to try to find justification to allow Anglers to travel between Tiers at this present time for a fishing match. :mad:

Crass and not what I expect to see from a supposed "Governing Body".
It appears it’s only words now unfortunately Peter. A lad I know packed up on the Tidal yesterday and is now fishing the Severn. And he’s from Doncaster. I don’t think he should have even been on the Trent but, there ya go. I’d love to join Wisey and Dave on the Wharfe but, I reckon that would be a bit too far at present. Saying that .... I’m not sure where my earplugs are. ??
 

Dave

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I think it's a case of they're damned if they do and damned if they don't

If they ask the question they could be accused of being irresponsible, and if they didn't, not having anglers best interests at heart.

It's becoming more and more evident seeing some of the comments out there on social media who are the responsible ones and who are the ones to avoid.
 

G0zzer2

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:mad: Frankly I find it astonishing that the Angling Trust should even think that it is acceptable to try to find justification to allow Anglers to travel between Tiers at this present time for a fishing match. :mad:

Crass and not what I expect to see from a supposed "Governing Body".

One could argue that in allowing league Footballers to travel around the country the government are designating angling as a 'Grassroots' sport (ie for only common people) and football as an elite sport (for Special People). Since when did money ought to designate how citizens behave?

Would you rather the Angling Trust had not made representation at the start of the first lockdown? If they hadn't. it's possible that no angling would have been allowed. You can't blame the Angling Trust for trying - if they hadn't, there would have been criticism - especially from posters on this site who say they do nothing for angling! :)

As Dave says: Damned if they do; Damned if they don't. But they have immediately suspended all national comps. Seems reasonable to me.
 

mike fox

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Martin Salters' comments are actually "a nonsense". Reason being, and it is a fact, that the majority of people living within an urban city live within 1 mile of an angling watercourse, be it river, canal, pond or reservoir. Travelling from within a tier 3 to a lower tier except for the exemptions given by the Government would be brainless and even the questioning of such is not particularly intelligent.
 

carphauler

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Martin Salters' comments are actually "a nonsense". Reason being, and it is a fact, that the majority of people living within an urban city live within 1 mile of an angling watercourse, be it river, canal, pond or reservoir. Travelling from within a tier 3 to a lower tier except for the exemptions given by the Government would be brainless and even the questioning of such is not particularly intelligent.
It'll be happening though, luckily I live in tier 2 and fish in tier 2,happy days.
 

JLK

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What about traveling from a tier 3 area to another tier 3 area and not going through any other tiers?

What's the moral stance on this?
 

Dave

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The guidance is to only travel between tier 3 areas for work, education, care purposes, ie to stay in your own tier 3 area unless neccessary
 

JLK

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Brilliant. I've waited in for a month. Followed the rules, am in a tier 3 area and now can't go to fish a match 25 miles away.
Getting really fed up now with how this is getting handled.
 

Dave

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I think the majority of us got fed up a long time ago but it is what it is and until people take some responsibility and it can be seen if the measures work or not, we'll be in this boat for a long while to come.
 

Keith Sparky

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Brilliant. I've waited in for a month. Followed the rules, am in a tier 3 area and now can't go to fish a match 25 miles away.
Getting really fed up now with how this is getting handled.
The issue as I see it is that assuming in a tier 3 area cases are high then any movement by anyone to another area unless its really needed for work etc...increases the risk of spreading into lower tier areas.... fishing is optional not essential...you will then argue that we don't mix at our venues etc...but we all know that social distancing has gone out the window at many matches and this helps spread the virus.... there are still well run matches but many are a joke where people are not following the guidelines
 

JLK

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I agree totally but when you look at the rules (not guidance) being relaxed at Xmas which means a family living in London (tier2) can travel to Yorkshire (tier3) to see their parents and spend all day and night with them as long as they don't cuddle or play monopoly, Id say it's never going to happen any time soon.
 

bazill58

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Martin Salters' comments are actually "a nonsense". Reason being, and it is a fact, that the majority of people living within an urban city live within 1 mile of an angling watercourse, be it river, canal, pond or reservoir. Travelling from within a tier 3 to a lower tier except for the exemptions given by the Government would be brainless and even the questioning of such is not particularly intelligent.
Mike
I live in a tier 3 area (Manchester) can you advise where in my area I can fish matches.
 

Dave

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I've posted this several times today on the book of faeces in answer to similar questions...

"You're being asked not to travel out of a tier 3 area into another tier 3 or lesser area to fish.
From what I gather the reasons are is you could well carry the virus from your area and spread it in another area, and likewise you could well carry it back into your area.
Areas are determined by council areas.
Tiers are determined by the local health authority's ability to cope with influxes of patients from infections, actual and predicted.
Your area could be manageable with the actual and predicted levels of infection, likewise neighbouring areas the same. However cross-infection between two areas could well cause a spike of infections in one area that the area's health service might not be able to cope with.
Therefore people are being asked not to travel unnecessarily out of tier 3 areas including from one tier 3 into another

I hope that makes sense"


(My words)
 

Dave

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I agree totally but when you look at the rules (not guidance) being relaxed at Xmas which means a family living in London (tier2) can travel to Yorkshire (tier3) to see their parents and spend all day and night with them as long as they don't cuddle or play monopoly, Id say it's never going to happen any time soon.
That is the ridiculous part of the government's plans - it does not make sense unless they have calculated that the risk is worth the reward, so to speak.
Get the R rate below 1 nationwide and then the risk is basically no longer exponential.

Or bowed down to media and other pressures regarding Xmas.
 
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