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UK retailer funding first-ever study into health benefits of fishing


Mental and physical wellbeing have long been held up as key benefits of angling – and particularly since the onset of COVID almost two years ago.

Now a UK university project – believed to be the first of its kind – is setting out to prove there are health benefits to fishing and that it is not just feel-good propaganda promoted by the sport.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge aims to scientifically proved the link between angling and associated health benefits. Leading the project is the university’s Professor Lee Smith, who is working with fishing tackle retail chain Angling Direct and Tackling Minds, a provider of angling events that offers support to people struggling with a range of issues.

To date, research into the area has been limited and no robust UK study exists. In addition, little is known about why people engage in fishing and why they do not.

The work is being funded by Angling Direct, which is headquartered in nearby Norwich, and its results will inform the campaigns and resources of the 38-store retailer. They may also be published in academics reports and journals.

Both anglers and non-anglers are being encouraged to complete an online questionnaire at Access the Great British and Northern Irish Fishing for Health Survey.

The ARU is placed in the top 20% of a list of more than 1,500 world universities.

Picture: Professor Lee Smith (left) getting the views of an angler

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