Youngsters have become hooked on fishing as part of a scheme to keep them out of trouble.
Youth workers from Caerphilly County Borough Council have been working with ten teenagers on the ‘Inclusion with Angling’ scheme.
The former troublemakers, aged between 14 and 19, have been learning to fish as a means of keeping them on the straight and narrow.
The 13-week course, held at Cefn Mably Lakes near Rudry, is split in two parts. In the morning the teens are given lessons in English, Maths and Science before heading out to the lake to cast their nets.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said: “This excellent initiative is a great means of providing alternative activities for youngsters from across the Caerphilly county borough to take part in, to learn valuable skills and also to prevent any possible anti-social behaviour from occurring.
“Schemes such as this are great as they are also of benefit to the whole community.
“By working with these ten youngsters, who have in the past been known for taking part in antisocial behaviour, our team of youth workers are emphasising to the youngsters that their previous behaviour was unacceptable, that it was having an adverse effect on the community, and that it should be changed for the better.”
Andrew Griffiths, the senior youth participation worker, said: “Over the thirteen weeks I have watched the boys become much calmer, more motivated and a lot more disciplined – the fact that the scheme combines classroom based learning with physical activity means that the participants can receive the best of both worlds, while working towards achieving a recognised qualification.”
One of the scheme’s participants said: “I have really enjoyed the whole course and have learned so much, not just about English and maths but also about the environment and wildlife – I would definitely recommend it to anyone.”
For more information about the course, which is funded by the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, visit www.inclusionthroughangling.co.uk