The Duchess of Cambridge attended a SportsAid event at the London Stadium to celebrate the role parents and guardians play in raising young athletes.
Hosted by track and field and Olympic legend Jessica Ennis-Hill and Paralympian Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker, Kate took part in demonstrations in racing and received tips on using starting blocks. She also received a lesson in taekwondo from Olympian Lutalo Muhammad.
Oyinbo-Coker joked with reporters after their mini-race and said that Kate was “not bad for a rookie. I didn’t want anyone to see her beat me.”
His coach, Coral Nourrice, said, “I think she enjoyed it. You could see by her face. She wasn’t fazed by it at all.”
Of the Duchess’s taekwondo skills, Muhammad said, “Her right hand was mean. Trust me, that was a hard punch. It was better than expected. She passed with flying colours. I’m glad I didn’t let her punch me.”
The Duchess of Cambridge also met with parents and guardians for a panel discussion to talk about their involvement in their children’s sporting lives before giving a speech in which she praised the roles parents play in helping their children succeed in sport.Embed from Getty Images
“For all of you here, you go, and have gone, above and beyond the call of duty; you’ve committed your time and devotion to nurturing your children’s exceptional talents. And as a parent, I have a huge admiration for you and I know just how complex and time-consuming your role is.
“You are simultaneously the transport and logistics managers, nutritionists, laundry service, psychologists, financiers, and crucially, the ones that provide love, support and encouragement when things are tough.
“You may not always feel appreciated, or sometimes even noticed on the sidelines, in the car park or sitting high in the stands. But I am so proud that SportsAid recognises how key your role is and that they understand the challenges and worries you face.”
SportsAid supports over 1,000 young athletes each year financially while also providing development opportunities as they train for competitions and events. At the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio, SportsAid athletes won 150 medals.
Kate said, “SportsAid are a shining example of how organisations can reach out and listen to families, and provide the best support possible to enable their children to flourish.”
As the young athletes continue their training for the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, the Duchess also wished them luck.
“Finally, I know this is an incredibly exciting but daunting time for many of SportsAid’s young athletes, so I’d like to wish the best of luck to all those aiming to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year. We’ll all be cheering you on.”