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Prince William and Kate Middleton get sporty during Wolverhampton visit - best photos

The couple marked Mental Health Awareness Week

kate middleton archery wolverhampton
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: 13 May 2021
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kate william laugh© Photo: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for a day of engagements in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands on Thursday.

Prince William and Kate marked Mental Health Awareness Week, a subject close to their hearts, as they visited three local organisations, which support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing.

The couple's first stop of the day was at The Way Wolverhampton Youth Zone, where they joined a group of young people as they took part in a number of wellbeing sessions.

And of course the notoriously competitive couple couldn't resist getting involved in all of the sporting activities on offer at the centre! 

READ: Prince William and Kate Middleton face big change in team after seven years

WATCH: William and Kate get sporty during Wolverhampton visit

kate william visit wolverhampton© Photo: PA

William and Kate matched in navy tones for their joint outing, with the Duchess wearing a polka dot Tory Burch blouse and flared trousers. The Duke donned a smart navy blazer with a pale blue collared shirt underneath a jumper.

On Friday, the Duke and Duchess and a host of famous faces will encourage the nation to keep on talking when they deliver the Mental Health Minute message across radios stations.

William and Kate have recorded the 60-second broadcast which marks Mental Health Awareness Week, alongside celebrities like David Beckham, Dame Shirley Bassey and Charles Dance.

MORE: Kate Middleton surprises in flattering flares and polka dots for new appearance

kate william gardening© Photo: PA

Outside they donned gardening gloves to join a group of children in a gardening exercise to highlight the importance of the nature and outdoor activities to mental health. 

The Duchess appeared to get the giggles as her husband attempted to plant some flowers. 

Kate spoke of her love of spending time in the outdoors with their children, and asked if they talked about mental health at school.

William told one group: "Catherine is very good at gardening."

Last week during a visit to Rhyl in North Wales, the Duke revealed that his wife is trying to encourage him to get into the outdoor pursuit. 

MORE: Kate Middleton and Prince William request help at country home

kate archery© Photo: PA

The Duchess also showed off her sporty side, as she tried an archery session. Look at the concentration on her face! 

"Terrible!" she exclaimed after missing the target.

william table tennis© Photo: PA

The notoriously competitive couple went head-to-head during a table tennis match. 

"Come on Catherine!" William said as he encouraged her to join their foursome, "Catherine is really good at table tennis."

When she did, the couple were in their element. "This could go on for hours," said William. "Talk amongst yourselves!"

kate plays table tennis© Photo: PA

Afterwards 14-year-old Keshia Riley, who had shown them round the centre, said: "I asked them about their dog, and what they do to be active. They like to walk their dog, and spend time with their kids. They like to bake as well, and make different foods with their family. 

"They asked questions about what we like to do. I spoke about how I like to dance. Catherine said how she loves to be in nature. She likes to go on walks, and is also interested in sport, as we saw outside with the table tennis. They are very competitive!"

prince william kicks football© Photo: PA

William, who is a renowned football fan, had a go at playing keepy-uppy.

"I’ve got no left foot all," he said after one unsuccessful attempt. "I can't not have a go, that’s the problem."

kate middleton the way youth zone© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess was also given a gift for her eldest son, Prince George, with his name on before leaving the centre. 

william kate base 25 wolverhampton© Photo: Getty Images

For her day of engagements in Wolverhampton, Kate wore a polka dot blouse from Tory Burch, which has now sold out. 

But you can get the royal look with this £48 blouse available from Boden

cambridges visit base25© Photo: Getty Images

HELLO!'s royal editor, Emily Nash, joined William and Kate in Wolverhampton as they visited Base25: 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heard how youth workers took to the streets over the past year to help young people struggling with lockdown.

On a visit to Base 25 in Wolverhampton city centre, William and Kate met staff and clients of the charity, which supports young people who have difficulties in accessing mainstream services.

Alan Jarvis, head of service, told the royal visitors: "Our service has changed to adapt to the needs of young people. We never closed any of our services and we saw a sharp increase in people committing self-harm and being targeted for child sexual exploitation."

with young people and families who have affected by child sexual exploitation, domestic violence and gangs.

It also provides advice and support on issues such as housing, relationships, sexual health, careers and access to crisis support and works in schools across Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire and Walsall.

william kate visit base25© Photo: Getty Images

Dave Wallace, intervention coordinator, introduced the Duke and Duchess to former clients, including Ellie-Mae O’Sullivan, 17, who was there with her 18-month-old son Noah.

Ellie-Mae told the couple how she had been affected by Child Sexual Exploitation but with support from Base25’s sexual exploitation coordinator Jennie Watton, had been able to understand what had happened to her and receive counselling.

"It was having someone to talk to more than anything," she told William and Kate. "It helped me open up and realise what had happened to me. I wouldn't be here now if it wasn’t for them."

The Duke smiled as little Noah wriggled around in her arms, saying: "He wants to go and play!"

“Did you start coming before your son was born?"asked the Duchess. "It's really good to have that support."

They also heard from Courtney Morriarte, 17, who was there with her lively three-year-old son Kyron.

She told the royals she had been referred to Jenny through her school, adding: "She used to come into school to see me and the sessions really helped me."

The little boy was keen to go and play in an upstairs room and William waved his hands animatedly back at him as he was finally allowed to go up.

Former client Anthony Crook told the couple he had gained confidence by attending the daily drop-in sessions at Base25.

"I didn’t feel comfortable speaking to anybody before I came here," he said. "But I made lifelong friends here. I wouldn't have been able to talk to you a few years ago, I wouldn't have been able to cope."

cambridges visit base25 wolverhampton© Photo: Getty Images

As they headed upstairs too for private conversations with some of the young people, the Duke turned back briefly to pick up his wife's clutch bag, which she had left on the sofa.

After hearing more about their experiences, William and Kate came back to the downstairs seating area and met schoolchildren who have been taking part in outdoor activities with youth workers and therapists Luke Blackham and Jason Dudley.

Told they had even tried "magnet fishing" – using magnets to see what they could catch in the local canal, William laughed, "Crikey!"

william kate visit huggle pets© Photo: Getty Images

The Cambridges then travelled to HugglePets in the Community, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2018 which uses Animal Assisted Therapy to help children with SEN disabilities or those experiencing mental health challenges engage with therapy and wellbeing activities.

HugglePets in the Community works with over 25 different schools in the Black Country, offering Animal Assisted Intervention programmes supporting children with their mental wellbeing on topics including anxiety, low mood, confidence and resilience building and suicide awareness.

William and Kate joined one of these sessions with a group of local school children from Loxdale Primary School, before visiting the centre's Sensory Activity Centre and Community Aquarium.

kate huggle pets© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess held Barbara the bearded dragon as she spoke with school children during her visit.

MORE: Prince William and Kate Middleton's cutest pets through the years

william holds guinea pig huggle pets© Photo: Getty Images

William met Gus the guinea pig and asked the school children about their own family pets. 

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