About  The Academy

Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy


“Our vision is to provide a facility whereby individuals and/or groups of all ages can get involved in the sport of angling. A place where they can enjoy, develop and improve their skills and help them on their journey to become a better angler and have a lifelong love of the sport.”


Youngsters represent the future of our Society and our sport. SOTAS have made a start to reverse the trend that was being felt by all angling clubs in our area regarding the lack of youngsters getting involved in angling. In order to encourage young anglers, Juveniles up to the age of 16 can join our Society for just £1 per year. The Society has recently secured fishing rights on approximately 9 miles of the canal network and has entered into a 6 year lease with the Canal and Rivers Trust. In order to encourage more parents into fishing a new Adult Canal Only membership for only £10 per year has also been introduced. 


For a number of years SOTAS has been active in promoting a campaign to encourage more people to participate in fishing. The Society has had some success in attracting more juniors mainly via our involvement in the “Lets Fish” events. SOTAS are seeking to further increase the numbers of juvenile members and Canal only memberships in 2021.


It is now imperative that we strive to develop and retain our junior membership as well as attracting more young anglers into the sport.



It is the view of the officials of the Society that we should endeavour, as is the case in all other sports, to construct a roadmap of what we wish to achieve with these young anglers and identify how to achieve it. To this end we have decided to set up a Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy that will be responsible for the development of the young anglers of the future, implementing and providing all training and coaching as laid out in the roadmap. We wish to adopt a strategy to ensure that we are successful in enabling these new anglers to grow and improve their skills within the sport. 


YouTube Video

We have produced a short video of the coaching carried out with juniors in 2020 - this provides you with an insight into our vision for the SOTAS Academy. Click Here To View

SOTAS Waters available for Tuition

Our stretch of the Canal at Middleport provides an ideal setting for beginners to start to learn and understand the basics of canal fishing mainly using short pole tactics.  Our 2 pools at Butterton (North Road and Noels Pool) both have a mixed stock of fish and are considered to be suitable venues to allow young anglers to start to enjoy and learn a number of different techniques to be able to catch a variety of fish.

The reservoir at Stanley Pool introduces further styles of fishing to help youngster learn new skills which will help them to catch roach, skimmers and bream.



Funding for the Academy will be provided by the Society, grants and donations from the public and the tackle trade. The local tackle trade are supportive of developing the Academy and have offered help and assistance in launching this. The Society has also been successful in securing a grant of £4,000 from the Angling Improvement Fund towards the implementation of the Academy and the delivery of 12 events during the 2021 season.

Any donations can be made via BACS to:

Stoke on Trent Angling Society Sort Code 30-93-83 Bank Account number 00357629 or via cheque made out to SOTAS Academy.                                                      


When it comes to manpower the club will be reliant upon its members and committee being willing to participate in this challenge. It is firmly felt that everyone will see the importance of this project not just to the Society but also to its young and new members and get behind it with help and ideas to make it a success.

Where special training is required (e.g coaching) this will be provided. The Society already has a trained team of 7 professional, experienced and accredited angling coaches.  Each licensed coach holds valid and up to date SPC Training, First Aid certificates, Disclosure and Barring Service DBS certificates, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance.



What events are planned for 2021?

This year the Society has already committed itself to delivering at least a further 27 “Lets Fish” events in conjunction with CRT on our stretch of the Middleport Canal.

We are also planning an in-house programme of events which has been designed to help to retain the interest and further develop the angling skills of our new recruits. These events include Training and Development Days, Juvenile competitions, a combined Adults/Juniors competition and the biggest annual celebration of junior angling – the National Cadet, Junior and Youth Angling Championships.

The programme of events is currently as follows below but this may be expanded if there is more interest:

 1. Training & Development                     Sat      17th April                      Middleport Canal

 2. Training & Development                     Sat      24th April                      North Road

 3. Training & Development                     Sat      1st May                          Noel’s Pool

 4. Training & Development                     Sat      8th May                         Noel’s Pool

 5. Junior Match                                         Sun     16th May                       Noel’s Pool

 6. Training & Development                     Sat      12th June                       North Road

 7. Training & Development                     Sat      19th June                       Middleport Canal

 8. Junior Match                                         Sun     27th June                       Middleport Canal

 9. Junior Match                                         Sun     11th July                         North Road

10. Seniors/Juniors Match                        Sat      7th August                     Stanley Reservoir

11. National Practice                                 Sat      4th September              Middleport Canal

12. National Practice                                 Sun     5th September              Middleport Canal

13. Cadets/Juniors Championships         Sat      18th September           Shropshire Union Canal

14. Youth Championships                         Sun     19th September           Shropshire Union Canal


Contact us 


Anyone with an interest in taking part in the above events please contact 

Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy liaison officer Mr. Geoff Beckett via email thebecketts@supanet.com. or via post to Stanley Villa B, Stanley Road,  Stoke-on-Trent ST9 9LL or via telephone on 01782 503793


(Please note that no business is conducted in person from an officials’ own residence)


If you were a junior member last year and have not yet re-joined then please consider renewing quickly so as to be able to reserve your place on the above events.


Any person that would like more information about Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy, how to get involved, helping out, volunteering, about donations or sponsorship please contact the liaison officer Mr. Geoff Beckett