- (PHOTO) Reuters/Edgar Su
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, made her first appearance without baby George or Prince William by her side. The Duchess showed off her athletic side during a volleyball workshop at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.
Middleton was excited to meet members of the charity she supports, SportsAid, which helps young athletes get their start. After meeting trustees of the organization, Middleton was invited to play a game of badminton but declined.
"We had been told she would have a game with us, but she didn't. She said she had played before as she wanted to try and see whether it was like tennis, but she said she found it much harder," Eliza Cottingham told Mail Online.
The Duchess was also invited to play wheelchair volleyball but again declined and turned down a round of fencing, citing her inappropriate footwear. She showed up wearing wedges, which made playing sports very difficult, yet Middleton gamely tried her hand at volleyball and even managed to score a few points.
"It's a shame she didn't join us as it's one of the few sports that able-bodied and disabled can play together. I think she'd be great," Ade Adepitan MBE, a Paralympic bronze medalist said. "She was very keen to learn more about the difference SportsAid meant to these young players and asked whether we had any more players coming through as a result of last year's games. I told her we had more than ever before, it's been remarkable."
Middleton took part in a volleyball game but then moved on to a practice press conference for the youngsters, followed by a mentoring session. Not only were the youth impressed by the Royal visit, SportsAid's chief executive Tim Lawler was as well.
"The thing that has really struck me is how keen she was to see what we did in action. 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 asked all the right questions. But more than that, she was very thoughtful and listened well. This is the first time we have been able to put her patronage into action and we are very excited about the future."
It's believed that baby George was home with his father, Prince William, while Kate visited SportsAid.