The Game Angling Instructors’ Association (GAIA) was created in 1967 (then called the Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors (APGAI)) in order to establish and maintain standards of excellence in the field of Game Angling Instruction. In 1997 the Association changed its name to the Game Angling Instructors’ Association (GAIA), however, GAIA has maintained it’s vision and mission of maintaining the standards of excellence in the field of Game Angling Instruction.
GAIA is the longest standing association for professional game angling instructors in the UK & Ireland, has over 400 members, and holds a number of qualifications in the disciplines of single-handed casting, double-handed casting, and fly dressing. In each of these three disciplines, there are two levels:
- GAIC (Game Angling Instructors’ Certificate) – The first level.
- APGAI (Advanced Game Angling Instructor) – The highest level.
All members of the Game Angling Instructors’ Association are required to undergo Continued Personal & Professional Development in order to keep their skills and qualifications up-to-date. Would you visit a doctor or mechanic who qualified 10 years ago and who hasn’t stayed up-to-date with best practices, techniques, or skills?
What’s the Difference Between An Instructor and Coach?
A professionally qualified game angling instructor holds the technical knowledge needed to explain, demonstrate, and teach fly casting and fly dressing at the highest level. You can be confident that your GAIA instructor is qualified to teach you the casts you need quickly and easily, diagnose any faults you may have, as well as being able to implement the training you require in order to develop you into a more proficient caster.
A qualified coach (holding either a Level 1 or 2 CCA/UKCC qualification, for example) who does not hold any additional technical casting qualification (GAIA, AAPGAI, FFF, etc) will have not been assessed at a technical level. A qualified coach is trained in aspects of risk assessments, communication skills, etc. As a result, a qualified coach (untrained as an instructor) may lack the knowledge and depth of technical understanding of the casts, principles, and techniques which they are trying to teach, and that you (the student) may need in order to efficiently progress as an angler.
More Information on GAIA
If you would like to see a list of qualified GAIA instructors in your area or, maybe you are interested in becoming an instructor yourself, please feel free to visit the GAIA website at www.gameanglinginstructors.co.uk.
GAIA are present at every major national and regional event, including the CLA Game Fair, British Fly Fair International (Stafford), to name just a few. If you happen to be attending one of the shows or just passing by, why not stop by for a lesson or a chat? We’d love to say Hi!