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Royals show skills at sports scheme

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have shown their sporting prowess at the launch of a new project aimed at training the coaches of the future.

Airs and graces were forgotten by Kate as she kicked a football in wedge heels while William honed his shooting skills during a sports day for youngsters which highlighted the initiative supported by the royals' charitable foundation.

Prince Harry joined his brother and sister-in-law but when he stepped on to a basketball court his efforts were "terrible" - as William prophetically described them. But in a speech to launch the Coach Core project, which will work in deprived areas, the Duke, who showed determination despite failing to score a goal, described his efforts as like a "giraffe on ice".

The royal trio travelled to Bacon's College in Rotherhithe, south-east London, to help launch the project run by the charity Greenhouse and inspired by the need to create a training programme in recognition of London hosting the Olympics.

William told those at the event: "Over the next month, the eyes of the world will be on Great Britain. For us to hold the Olympic and the Paralympic Games here in London is a great moment for our nation, which itself is steeped in sporting history.

"Therefore, for Catherine, Harry and me, there could be no better way of starting this epic time than being with you here in Rotherhithe, so close to the heart of London 2012, to launch Coach Core.

"Watching me on the football field is never a pretty sight - the expression 'giraffe on ice' springs to mind. However, it is marginally less embarrassing than seeing my brother cheat his way to becoming the fastest man on the planet.

"Catherine, on the other hand, with a tennis racquet or a hockey stick is something to behold and be aware of. But what all three of us have in common is that we love sport. And not just playing it, but for what it does for people young and old. It builds confidence, engenders mutual respect and responsibility, and teaches us about the value of team work. That's why Catherine, Harry and I are so excited about Coach Core, this brilliant programme developed by the Greenhouse Charity in partnership with our foundation."

William, Kate and Harry's Foundation has created Coach Core with the organisation Greenhouse, one of the charities that benefited from the Cambridges' wedding fund. The Coach Core programme is being piloted and will train 16 to 19-year-olds to become qualified coaches and mentors for their schools and communities.

Kate, who was wearing a white and grey Hobbs checked Wessex summer dress, first tried her hand at table tennis, and her efforts saw her described as "unbelievably talented".

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