Kate Middleton is having a ball! On Friday, Oct. 18, three months after giving birth to Prince George, her first child with husband Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge attended a SportsAid Athlete Workshop at the Copper Box in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where she showed off her impressive volleyball skills and amazing post-baby body.
Arriving at 10:45 a.m. in a Ralph Lauren breton-style striped top, a navy-blue military blazer by Smythe, cropped J Brand jeggings, and Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley “corkswoon” wedges, the 31-year-old Brit looked radiant and super-slim. Her long brown hair was blown out, and she grinned as she took in the scene around her.
After watching some young athletes in action at sports including wheelchair basketball, fencing, and badminton, Middleton met a few volleyball players and agreed to join them for a bit. “I’ll try my best,” she said, laughing.
Her best turned out to be pretty good. Thought she dropped the ball on her last attempt, she managed to volley it several times before that — in heeled wedges, no less! (She declined, however, to take part in a fencing match and badminton. “She said it would be hard to fence in those shoes,” Junior European judo medalist Nekoda Davis said.)
“She was a natural,” 18-year-old Toby French, a volleyball player from Chelmsford, tells Us Weekly of the Duchess. “You can tell she’s sporty. She said she’s played a little before.”
Prince William’s wife then joined several athletes and their parents for some educational workshops about media, nutrition, and general guidance from Olympians and Paralympians including Katherine Grainger, Ade Adepitan, and Karen Pickering.
SportsAid, of which Middleton is a patron, is a charity aimed at helping and recognizing young British athletes. Established in 1976, it has offered support and financial assistance to many talented sportsmen and women, including two-thirds of the British team at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“[The Duchess] was very keen to learn more about the difference SportsAiid meant to these young players and asked whether we had any more players coming through as a result of last year’s games,” bronze medal-winning paralympian Ade Adepitan says. “I told her we had more than ever before. It’s been rermarkable.”
Middleton also took part in a mock press conference, taking on the role of a journalist. “It’s fantastic you have all been part of SportsAid,” she said to the athletes. “How has it helped you with your training?”
“The thing that has really struck me is how keen she was to see what we did in action,” SportsAid’s chief executive, Tim Lawler, noted after the Duchess had left. “We are a charity about people, not great buildings. Every penny we raise goes to the kind of people you see here. We always tell our young people that they are beautiful and inspirational, and now we can say that about our patron, too. She was very bright, very switched on, and she asked all the right questions. But more than that, she was very thoughtful and listened well.”
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