EDUCATION departments in Australia hoping to turn out students with a passionate well rounded outlook could do worse than follow the lead of some US schools looking to introduce fishing into the curriculum.
According to a recent report by Fox News, high schools in South Carolina are proposing to make fishing an official school sport. And with pro fishing tournaments and television shows extremely popular in the US and bass fishing a multi-million dollar industry there are now calls for schools to recognize the activity as a full-fledged sport.
"They want their picture on the wall just like the football team and the volleyball and basketball and other state champion teams from Camden," Daniel Sisk, the fishing club coach at Camden High School in Columbia told Fox.
Camden is just one school among many around the Palmetto State that is working with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to make fishing a competitive sport. Camden students and their counterparts from 13 other schools have signed a petition asking the South Carolina High School League, which regulates school athletics in the state, to sanction the activity as a sport.
"If it was recognized as a varsity sport, then your benefits would be you can letter in it, you can get scholarships," said Camden Fishing Club member Catie Charles, a freshman. "But right now you don't. You just go out there for fun and nobody really notices."
South Carolina anglers currently pump an estimated $215 million per year into the state economy.