IT is traditionally seen as the preserve of white males, sitting by the riverbank to get a few hours away from the wife.

But there are moves in Bolton to change the stereotypical view of angling.

Faith leaders have been working alongside fishing experts to get more young Asians involved in the sport.

Organised by Bolton Council of Mosques, and funded through a grant from Faith4Change, the young Muslims took part in angling sessions over two days held by the Get Hooked On Fishing scheme at Bradshaw Fisheries.

Get Hooked On Fishing coordinator Bridget Dawson said: “The two days were really successful.

“The lads overcame their fears about fishing and handling bait, and we are really pleased that they want to come back and do more sessions in the future.

“I feel we have gone some way to breaking down the stereotypical image of angling being a white, maledominated sport as we have a Muslim group being taught by a female coach and her colleagues.”

Bolton Council of Mosques helped to organise similar sessions in the past to get people involved with different sports.

Rizwan Buchiya, aged 18, is a Bolton Sixth Form College student who took part in the sessions. He said: “It was good. It was a new experience and I would like to pass on the skills I have learnt.

“Fishing is not a regular thing in the Asian community, so it was good to do something different.”

Qualified coaches Andy Ormrod and John Preston helped to teach the group how to set up the equipment, catch and put the fish back safely and how to use different rods.

Over the two afternoon sessions, dozens of fish were caught which included chub, roach, gudgeon, perch, bream and carp.

Also on hand to help Bridget were Jack Hawkin, aged 13, who attends Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, and Joe Bannister, aged 13, of Thornleigh College, who had previously been involved with fishing courses.

In 2004, Mrs Dawson, aged 39, who has been fishing since she was six years old, became one of only 10 qualified female angling coaches at the time.

She has been running the Get Hooked On Fishing scheme since April, 2008. It aims to create opportunities for young people and give them more confidence.

Similar sessions have been organised for Muslim girls on August 12, 19 and 26.

For information about Get Hooked On Fishing visit the website