LAST gasp talks by the Angling Trust to Sport England might have saved their big money funding, an Angler’s Mail investigation has revealed.

New Government rules being introduced for April 1 means all bodies receiving Sport England dosh must have 30 per cent non-executive director roles filled by women.

The Angling Trust were joint second bottom alongside The Football Association with only 7 per cent of females at board level. Only taekwondo was lower with zero percent.

Director of sport at Sport England, Phil Smith, said: “Organisations have to draw up an action plan by April 1 of how they will reach the 30 per cent target – they have enough time to write an action plan.”

The Angling Trust receives £340,000 per year from Sports England which represents 13.6 per cent of its funding. This follows a massive £1.8 million given to the Angling Trust from 2013-2017.

‘We need to recruit women into management’

Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd explained: “This money is for very specific purposes and all has to be spent on activities agreed in advance and in great detail with Sport England.

“We have performance targets relating to running and facilitating events to get more people going fishing more often, and to support our talent pathway for young anglers to be supported to fish for England.

“Clearly there are a lot more men than women currently involved in angling, but if we are to change that we need to recruit more women into management roles throughout angling to ensure that the sport isn’t designed by men for men.

“There are tens of thousands of women who go fishing and many of these women will have the skills and experience necessary to serve as a director on the board of a national governing body.”

Mark Lloyd (right) of the Angling Trust knows angling needs to get more women involved. He explained what’s being done.

Mark added: “We have brought in the requirement for board members to retire after two terms of three years and this will create vacancies which will enable us to ensure that our directors better reflect the angling community that we serve, and also the community of potential anglers we would like to recruit to the sport.

“We’ve a plan in place to advertise vacancies on our board over the next few weeks not only to our members but also in specific media outlets which are more likely to reach women, black and minority ethnic people and those with disabilities.

“We have discussed our plans with Sport England and with Tracey Crouch the Sports Minister, who we met last week, to discuss the new governance code amongst other things.

“We are confident that the Angling Trust is meeting all the governance conditions set out in the new code, or has a clear plan in place to meet those aspects with which we are not yet compliant. We have recently had confirmation of funding for the next two years.

“Our main funding from the Environment Agency is not affected by this new requirement,” he added.

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