Young footballers across England have been given the chance the represent their local Football League club in a new initiative launched this week.
England women's Captain Faye White and TV presenter Ben Shephard launched The npower Football League Kids Cup and Girls Cup giving local schools in England the unique opportunity to represent their club on a national scale.
Sponsored by npower, the U11 mixed Kids Cup and the U13 Girls Cup offer junior footballers from around the country the chance to play in front of thousands of fans at one of The League's showpiece finals.
And to kick-start the competitions, Shephard and White joined children from Canberra School at Queens Park Rangers' Loftus Road for a kick-about on the pitch.
"I played football when I was younger and it can bring big rewards and huge changes to the way people live and what they can do," said the Sky Sports presenter.
"Sport helps children train and work as a team, inspiring them to do more and to get them involved in the sport. It is very important both physically but also for developing social skills and helping them interact with others."
Schools across the country have until 8 October to sign up for both Cups by entering their local tournaments for the right to represent their club.
"Competitions like the npower Football League Kids Cup are an excellent opportunity to get kids together enjoying football and sharpening up their team skills," said Faye White, who has been representing England since 1997.
"For female footballers the Girls Cup is a huge opportunity to play against, learn from and mix with likeminded sportswomen. Giving girls the chance to take the pitch at Wembley Stadium is a real coup for the Girls Cup, I'll be looking forward to hearing how the finalists get on under the famous arch."
Last year over 2,500 schools took part in the two competitions, then known as The Community Cup, but with npower's support, The Football League is this season aiming to engage with over 3,000 schools nationwide.
To enter your school into the npower Football League Kids Cup or Girls Cup, contact your local Football League club.
Courtesy of www.football-league.co.uk. Image courtesy of Matt Crossick/PA Wire.