RJ Case study


RJ was a 14 year old boy who was referred to The Fishing Academy by his school as a result of poor behaviour and truancy.  His behaviour was that bad that he was under the threat of permanent expulsion from school.  RJ attended The Fishing Academy under the escort of two members of the school staff, such were the risk factors associated with his behaviour.  RJ had never been fishing before but stated that it was something that he had been keen to try but he knew nobody that fished so he had nobody that could teach him.


RJ attended the Fishing Academy on a day-long session each fortnight.  He quickly developed a keen interest for the sport of angling and was keen to learn as much as he could from the coaching staff to increase his chances of catching fish. RJ had signed a contract of behaviour prior to his first visit to The Fishing Academy, where he agreed to keep full attendance at school, not come to the attention of the Police and maintain good behaviour at school.


RJ completed his first year at The Fishing Academy with excellent reviews from the fishing instructors on site for both his lakeside work and his classroom work.  RJ had been struggling with his schoolwork and had lost complete confidence in his own ability to learn and perform in class.  This led to his poor behaviour and his truancy issues prior to him attending The Fishing Academy. However, with the support of our specially trained staff and with our bespoke learning packages, RJ’s confidence and ability to learn developed rapidly, particularly around any subject matter relating to fishing, wildlife and the environment.


Having completed his first year, RJ was successful in obtaining his Bronze Youth Achievers Award, as a result of the classroom work he had compiled at The Fishing Academy.  His school requested that he attend for a second year, where RJ worked towards his Silver Youth Achievers Award, which involved him becoming a mentor to new attendees at The Fishing Academy and assisting with classroom inputs and presentations - things that were far out of his reach and far out of his confidence levels prior to him attending The Fishing Academy.


RJ continued to develop in all aspects of his learning and developed into a responsible individual who could be trusted to carry out a number of challenging tasks with minimum supervision.  RJ successfully obtained his Silver Youth Achievers Award and went on to Rodbaston College, where he studied fishery management.


 Part way through his course, an opportunity arose for an apprenticeship at a local council, looking after their parks and waterways. RJ applied for this post and during the interview was asked if he had anything that would evidence his ability to see something through from start to finish.  RJ had left school with no formal qualifications and was only three quarters of the way through his Rodbaston course.  RJ explained to the interview panel about his time at The Fishing Academy and his Bronze and Silver Youth Achievers Awards that he had obtained.


  RJ subsequently received notification that the apprenticeship post was being offered to him, subject to proof of his Youth Achiever Awards.

RJ has now completed his apprenticeship and is now in full time employment.


RJ himself stated to a Fishing Academy Trustee, PC Darren Robbins, “that if it had not been for my time on The Fishing Academy, I would be in prison now, whereas now, I am applying for a mortgage to buy my first house”.   RJ continued to state “that is where my life was heading and I could not have stopped it heading in that direction without your support”.