With the introduction of Government legislation bringing healthy eating to schools throughout the country, two friends are helping sports-mad youngsters stay on the ball after setting up their own business. T&A Reporter DAN WEBBER found out more.

Qualified sports coaches Rowland Egege and Baljeet "Bobby" Singh have a mission.

In the wake of pleas from the Government for people to live healthier lives, the pair plan to revolutionise the lifestyles of primary school pupils across the district.

The duo have launched fledgling firm Pro-active Sports to bring physical exercise to primary schools who do not have a dedicated PE teacher.

And a year after launching with funding of just £15,000, the company already employs five coaches and boasts 30 schools on its books.

West Bowling resident Rowland, 29, a former semi-professional footballer with Guiseley AFC, said he and Bobby, 24, were keen to play their part in improving the lives of the next generation.

"We used to work as coaches with Bradford Council's Sport Action Zone," he said. "They sent coaches including ourselves into primary schools.

"After taking sessions we kept getting asked by head teachers to come back and do extra work but could not as, at the time, we were contracted.

"After doing a lot of market research we realised there was a big market there as many primary schools do not have dedicated PE teachers. We have now gone on our own and it is going well."

The pair, both fully-qualified to coach in a range of sports, now spend much of their time co-ordinating five coaches as they travel from school-to-school throughout the district.

In hour-long sessions they pass on skills in a wide range of sports including football, cricket, athletics, basketball, hockey and movement.

Coaches, who have all passed stringent checks and are qualified in first aid, also push the healthy eating message, encouraging pupils, who range from five to 11, to drink plenty of water, exercise regularly and eat five portions of fruit and veg each day.

Primary school meals across the country must include at least two portions of fruit and vegetables each day and deep-fried foods are restricted, Department of Education guidelines introduced this month say.

"We always look at how each young individual can improve in the sport we are teaching and the way they eat and exercise," said Bobby.

"The children absolutely love it. They cannot get enough of it. Quite simply, primary school pupils are not getting enough sport.

"The Government says they have to have at least two hours physical activity a week - well some schools are not even doing that.

"Government figures revealed that some 22 per cent of girls and 19 per cent of boys will be obese by 2012. What we are doing is really needed.

"Some schools we have gone into, we have done ten minutes activity - and some pupils will be really blowing hard. Too many children are spending way too much time in the house on the computer."

Rowland said studies had shown that children who participate in regular exercise can also see the benefits in their academic work.

"Taking part in sport and exercise gives young people discipline and encourages them to think in a different way," he said.

The pair also have connections with most of the professional sport outfits in the area and are always on the look-out for new talent.

Things are going so well the duo hope to expand into Leeds and Huddersfield in the next few months.

Pupils from Fagley Primary School have benefited from Pro-active Sport's expertise. School inclusion mentor Carol Blythe said the "positivity" of the coaches, particularly Rowland and Bobby, had rubbed off on the children.

"They are very positive when they take the sessions and expect the children to do the right thing," she said.

"The children have really warmed to them. We have both boys and girls playing football with them in an after-school session and they all love it. We only have them once a week but if we could afford more sessions and have them doing more things we would do so.

"We have a PE co-ordinator and have coaches from quite a few agencies come into school."

Other primary schools to benefit from Pro-active Sport classes include Copthorne, Atlas, Thornton, Iqra, Princeville and St Matthews in Allerton.

e-mail: dan.webber@bradford.newsquest.co.uk