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William shows off ice hockey skills during Finland charity visit

The event came on the first day of his two-day official visit to Finland.

The Duke of Cambridge revealed he is a slapshot hotshot when he showed off his ice hockey skills in a Helsinki ice rink.

When William was challenged to take on a goalie during a visit to a welfare charity, using sport to help boys at risk of being excluded from school, he did not need to be asked twice.

The event came on the first day of his two-day official visit to Finland and he slammed home two pucks past 10-year-old Emil Cekic, who also displayed his talent by stopping two shots.

William visits an ice rink in Helsinki to see the work of Icehearts (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

William was learning about the work of the charity, Icehearts, which has been supporting youngsters who often need a positive role model in their lives.

The Duke later praised the work of the organisation when he gave a speech highlighting the strong links between the UK and Finland, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence from Russia.

Speaking at the official residence of Britain’s ambassador to Finland, Sarah Price, William said: “This afternoon I spent some time with Icehearts, an organisation working with children to prevent social exclusion through sport.”

He added: “The way in which young boys, often without adult role models in their lives, were supported by their male coaches was impressive and moving, and one that I will remember for a long time.

“And I’ve been given a roadmap on how to produce it in the UK.

“My visit will reflect, and I hope reinforce, the strong and wide-ranging ties between the United Kingdom and Finland.”

William told the invited guests, who included leaders from the science, research and innovation sectors in Finland: “At this reception we have been celebrating our scientific, educational and cultural links, which are rich and deep.

“But our ties go beyond these. The United Kingdom and Finland proudly share the same values as open and democratic societies. We share the same determination to champion those values and promote inclusion and prosperity.”

Before taking the hockey challenge William watched a display of the sport by a group of youngsters helped by the charity.

He asked one “can you show me how it’s done?” and after the boy expertly scored William looked at the group behind him and joked “a lot of pressure with all you guys watching”.

William’s first effort flew into the goal and the boys all bashed their hockey sticks on the ice in approval.

His next shot was saved but he then scored again and the players filled the ice rink with sound.

William began his brief visit to Finland by presenting the nation’s president with a message from the Queen to mark the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence.

William is on a two-day trip to Helsinki and he met Finland’s head of state, Sauli Niinisto, at the presidential palace.

The Queen, who signed her message to the president “Your good friend, Elizabeth”, spoke of the “spirit of friendship” that guided the relationship between the UK and Finland, and said she had no doubt “we will continue to build our relationship in this way in the years to come”.

Mr Niinisto invited William to a dinner at his official residence in the capital attended by more than 50 guests including Finnish cabinet ministers, tech entrepreneurs and senior members of the military.

Diners were served a crayfish soup starter, a main course of smoked white fish in a mushroom sauce and cheesecake for desert.

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