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  • Writer's pictureFishing for Schools

UK’s first charity ‘Flyathlon’

The inaugural Bewl Water Flyathlon will be held on Sunday, 12 May, 2024. The first of its kind in the UK, the fly fishing version of a triathlon will raise money for charity organisation Fishing for Schools.

Fishing for Schools, run by The Countryside Alliance Foundation’s Charles Jardine, is a programme that uses angling as a teaching tool for pupils in years 5-9 to explore core subjects like maths, English, and natural sciences while learning outdoors and involving them into a new hobby.

Since its launch in 2007, over 3,800 children and young people from 140 schools across England and Wales have benefitted from learning outdoors and connecting with nature via Fishing for Schools. The programme assists students, including those with learning difficulties and those struggling with their mental health, by offering fishing-related activities as a way back into formal education and learning in the classroom, on field trips, or a combination of both.

Participants in the Flyathlon will first catch a fish, then run a half marathon around Kent and Sussex’s Bewl reservoir, and, finally, celebrate by drinking sparkling wine – all while fundraising for Fishing for Schools. The idea comes from the Rocky Mountain Flyathlon (RMF), a conservation fundraising event in Colorado, USA. With its beautiful scenery and its legacy as a flagship county for Fishing for Schools, Kent was an obvious choice for the event.

Director of Fishing for Schools Charles Jardine said: “Many have asked me why, at 71, I have decided to lace up my trainers and thread my fly fishing rod for this event. The charity sector has been hit with funding cuts especially hard this year, and many worthy causes need help. Such tough times call for us to dig deeper in our fundraising efforts and do something a little different – as any bit helps.”  

He added: “I just hope that we can raise as much as we can, with £12,000 being my dream figure. Angling and education allow people in need to enjoy what so many of us often take for granted   this programme is both special and worthy of our very best efforts”. 

You can sign up to participate in the Flyathlon by emailing Charles here and donate to Fishing for Schools via The Countryside Alliance Foundation here.

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