The Duchess of Cambridge showed off her sporting prowess during a SportsAid event in London today.
Kate Middleton, 38, raced Team GB star Jessica Ennis-Hill and tried her hand at taekwondo as she got stuck into the fun at London Stadium, at the Olympic Park in Stratford, this morning.
The sports-mad royal dressed down for the occasion in a pair of teal Zara culottes and a green ribbed jumper, which she wore under a favourite navy blazer from Canadian label Smythe. Ensuring she was ready to run, Kate swapped her typical heels for a pair of Marks & Spencer trainers.
Kate, patron of SportsAid, was on hand to celebrate the important role parents and guardians play in their child’s sporting success.
On her marks… The Duchess of Cambridge beamed as she took her position on the starting blocks at London Stadium
Put ’em up! The Duchess of Cambridge pulled her hair back as she practised her punches during the SportsAid event today
Fancy giving this a try? The Duchess of Cambridge looked less sure as she was shown a pole vault at the indoor track
The Duchess joined athletes taking part in track and field activities and met parents and guardians of SportsAid athletes to hear more about the challenges they face.
The royal also listened to a panel discussion involving athletes, parents and guardians.
She also delivered a speech in which she praised the work SportsAid does in supporting families so children can achieve their dreams.
She said: ‘It’s been fascinating to speak to so many of you here today and also to hear, just now, about some of the experiences you all have, as young athletes and as parents.
‘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.
‘The crucial role that parents and caregivers play in our children’s lives cannot be underestimated.
Friendly rivalry! The Duchess of Cambridge shared a joke with Jessica Ennis-Hill, right, as they took to the track today
Best foot forward: The Duchess of Cambridge was given pointers as she took her place on the starting blocks today
Expert tips: Para-athlete sprinter Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker showed Kate the ropes as she took her spot on the starting blocks
Starting positions: Kate on the starting line with Oyinbo-Coker, left, and Ennis-Hill, right, at London Stadium today
There she goes! The Duchess of Cambridge raced the professionals at the stadium in London this morning
Catch me if you can! Kate Middleton, centre, raced para-athlete sprinter Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker and Jessica Ennis-Hill
Fits of laughter: Competitive Kate and Ennis-Hill kept the spirit of the event friendly and didn’t try to outpace each other
Go Kate! The Duchess of Cambridge kept up with Jessica Ennis-Hill, right, and a SportsAid athlete, left, on the tracks today
In her element: The Duchess of Cambridge appeared in excellent spirits as she joked with Ennis-Hill on the track, left
‘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.
‘On behalf of SportsAid, I’d like to thank all the parents and guardians who have played, or are playing, their part in developing this country’s young sporting talent.
‘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.’
Getting the stance right: The Duchess of Cambridge is shown Taekwondo moves by Lutalo Muhammad, left, at the event
Attention to detail: The sports-mad Duchess was shown moves by Team GB Olympian Lutalo Muhammad, left
Show and tell: Olympian Lutalo Muhammad, left, taught Kate basic Taekwondo moves during the Sports Aid event today
SportsAid helps young British sportsmen and women aspiring to be the country’s next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and World Champions.
The charity supports over 1,000 athletes each year, the vast majority aged 12 to 18, by helping financially towards training and competition costs.
Most young athletes also rely heavily on their parents and guardians, who are often the ‘team behind the team’, providing financial, logistical and practical support.
SportsAid runs sessions for both athletes and their family members, allowing parents and guardians from across sporting disciplines to meet each other, share their stories and experiences, and benefit from the guidance that the charity can provide.
The Duchess became the Patron of SportsAid in 2013 and has met many young athletes helped by the charity, as well as Olympians and Paralympians who were previously supported by the organisation, at SportsAid’s training days, performance workshops and fundraising events.
Say cheese! The Duchess of Cambridge beamed as she posed for a photo with SportsAid athletes and staff in London
Group shot: Kate was on hand to celebrate the important role parents and guardians play in their child’s sporting success