Our sporting tradition goes back hundreds of years. It was said that Guto Nyth Brân, a fleet-footed shepherd from Llwyncelyn, could run faster than a horse. This legendary athlete who was born in Llwyncelyn is remembered every year with the Nos Galan races held in Mountain Ash.
Youngsters growing up in the coal towns of the early 20th century found excitement and, sometimes, a ticket to a new life through their local boxing clubs. As one Valleys' trainer put it, 'Children born in the tough valleys’ towns were so angry that they came out with their fists clenched!' They were inspired by heroic boxers, men like Tommy Farr (the Tonypandy Terror) and Freddie Welsh (the Welsh Wizard) who was World Lightweight Boxing Champion 1914-1917.
And since the very earliest days of cycle racing men from the Valleys have excelled. Tredegar-born paralympian Mark Colbourne follows in the tracks of Arthur Linton who was Champion Cyclist of the World in 1894. And of course we have more than our fair share of exceptionally talented rugby players, such as Ray Gravell.