Prince William donned a pair of boxing gloves but failed to change into a suit as he praised the power of sport to provide ‘hope, connection and opportunity’ while celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Coach Core charity, set up by his Royal Foundation.
As well as boxing, the prince tried his hand at penalties while his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales tried her hand at wheelchair bowls at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Park in the east of London, home of the London 2012. Olympic Games.
The Royal Foundation of Prince William and Princess Catherine launched the Coach Core program the same year with the aim of creating the next generation of sports coaches who will themselves inspire their communities.
In a speech to mark 10 years of Coach Core, now an independent charity, the prince spoke of the organisation’s “incredible achievements”.
The celebration allowed Coach Core trainees to show guests, which included performances from the charity’s partner organisations, activities such as boxing, wheelchair balls and a version of pool, where cues and balls are replaced by soccer balls and the balls kicked into large pockets.
Prince William himself was mentored by amateur boxers Gabrielle Reid, 18, and Joshua Jones, 21 – who are both two months away from their Coach Core classes and took turns giving the future king a brief session training.
The 18-year-old from Bournemouth watched as William took the jabs and combination punches and then handed it to his colleague who got into a light fight with the royal.
Ms Reid said: ‘He picked it up very quickly and said he had already boxed. I didn’t have to teach him much. I will not forget this experience, it was crazy.
The 21-year-old added: “I just went over the basics of boxing – I showed him the jab, the backhand and I showed him how to throw a one-two, as well as his position and his guard.
“He enjoyed it, he said he had done a bit before but he had a small joint injury so he wouldn’t be taking it back anytime soon.”
Coach Core ambassadors include England and Manchester City women’s captain Steph Houghton, gymnast Max Whitlock – a six-time Olympic medalist – and tennis coach Judy Murray.
“We are helping many more children involved in sport by providing good coaches, good role models and [helping] these people into a full-time job – which is amazing,” Whitlock said.
“Two of the biggest problems in gymnastics – it’s the same in most sports – are space and coaches.
“Obviously Coach Core is trying to meet that need for more and more good quality coaches to support these kids who are getting through.”
Prince William with celebrities over the years – in pictures
Updated: October 13, 2022, 5:03 PM