William nets basketball hoop as royal couple meet Commonwealth Games hopefuls
Thursday’s engagements are the last to be carried out by the Duchess before she goes on maternity leave.
The Duke of Cambridge needed three attempts to net a basketball hoop from a wheelchair as he and Kate met Paralympians, athletes and Commonwealth Games hopefuls.
The Duke and Duchess were visiting the Olympic Park’s Copper Box arena in Stratford, east London, for an event held by SportsAid, a national charity helping the next generation of sporting champions.
The couple watched a wheelchair basketball session and then met the players, including television presenter Ade Adepitan, who won a Paralympic bronze at Athens in 2004.
When the Duke said it must hurt their hands when chairs smash into each other, Paralympian Gregg Warburton, who has just two fingers on one hand, held it up and joked: “Yeah, I had five when I started.”
The 21-year-old Rio bronze medallist, a double amputee, from Manchester, has been playing for about a decade and hopes to be at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, when the sport will feature for the first time.
The Duke has a go at wheelchair basketball - and scores! 🏀 pic.twitter.com/AkLhdumhYB— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 22, 2018
Thursday’s royal engagements are the last to be carried out by the heavily pregnant Duchess, who wore a cream coat by Goat and a patterned top by Hobbs, before she goes on maternity leave.
Her third child is due in April.
The couple also met Lizzy Yarnold, who took gold in the skeleton at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, before they all took part in a quiz about the history of the Commonwealth Games.
Mrs Yarnold told the couple that funds from SportsAid were vital while she struggled to balance sport training and university.
She said of the charity: “They’ve been through it all before so they know what advice to give.
“It was really nice when I started to have someone to talk to about managing sport and life, with me being away all winter and having exams at the time.”
Annually, SportsAid supports more than 1,000 mainly teenage athletes with money towards training and competing costs.
The charity also helps develop other vital skills for professional athletes by providing media training, nutritional advice and performance lifestyle guidance.
The royal visit comes in the build-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, which opens on April 4.