South-Wales rivals Cardiff City and Swansea City are joining forces with The Valleys Heart and Soul Campaign to support an initiative aimed at encouraging local schoolchildren to get involved in sport.
From January 2011 'The Primaryship - Getting Valleys' Kids into Sport' will provide free sports caching to 80 primary school classes across The Valleys to promote active lifestyles to children.
A class of children between the ages of five and 11 in each of the 80 Valleys' primary schools will receive an hour of coaching per week for six weeks across a variety of sports.
The expert coaching will be delivered to a total of 2,000 children by the Community Foundation coaching teams along with special appearances from the two high-flying npower Championship clubs.
"Many of our fans are from The Valleys so it's great to be giving something back," said Cardiff Manager, Dave Jones. "The area has produced some of Wales' finest sporting stars over the years, so we hope that this training will help to develop raw talent.
"I hope this campaign will not only get more children playing sport but also have a longer lasting impact on their goals for the future."
His counterpart at the Liberty Stadium, Brendan Rogers echoed the comments emphasising the difference sports participation can make to peoples' lives.
"It's great to be a part of such an important initiative to promote healthy lifestyles," added the Swansea boss. "We hope that by providing this free access to sporting excellence it will ignite a passion for sport which in turn gives young people a focus as it involves hard-work, commitment and dedication.
"In short, it can be life changing. We're keen to see as many young people from The Valleys come through as the next generation of sporting heroes."
To qualify for the initiative, classes are being ask to nominate a 'local hero' from their school or community who has shown outstanding commitment and made a real difference to helping children or young people take part in sport.
Schools are being encouraged to submit video clips and photographs of their local hero as part of their entries, which will then be showcased online as part of a Valleys Local Heroes Hall of Fame.
Schools must explain in no more than 100 words why they are nominating their Local Hero and submit online at www.thevalleys.co.uk/heartandsoul, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by sharing their 'local heroes' on Twitter and Facebook.
The winning schools will be drawn at random and coaching will start in January 2011.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Jocelyn Davies, said: "It is well known that improving health is a key determinant to successful regeneration.
"This campaign offers opportunities for children of all abilities to get involved in sport and learn new skills, which in turn will nurture their confidence and give them the attitude and motivation they need to succeed in the future."
The Valleys Heart and Soul is three year campaign led by partnership organisations from the Western Valleys, Heads of the Valleys and The Valleys Partnership.
The aim is to change perceptions of The Valleys, attract more tourists and bring long-term economic benefits to the area. The area has undergone major transformation with a total investment of £42million.
Gavin Megaw, Director of Marketing and Communications at The Football League, commented: "It is fantastic to see Cardiff City and Swansea City working together like this on such an important issue as children's health.
"Football has the power to make a difference to peoples' lives and their involvement will help to encourage more young people to become active and lead healthier lifestyles."
To find out more about the initiative, visit http://www.thevalleys.co.uk/heartandsoul/the-primaryship