HRH The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates SportsAid’s 40th anniversary at Kensington Palace

Young judoka had the chance to show off their skills to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge at a SportsAid event on Thursday 9 June at Kensington Palace.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge praised SportsAid for ensuring ‘there is a strong pipeline of inspirational heroes’ as she addressed guests at the charity’s 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner yesterday evening

The Duchess, who has been the Patron of SportsAid since 2013, said ‘the brilliance of SportsAid is in really understanding just how much athletic competition gives to our country as a whole’ as she met the charity’s alumni, current athletes and partners at Kensington Palace.

She spent time talking to the alumni, including those hoping to represent Team GB and Paralympics GB in Rio this summer, and currently supported athletes in the gardens at Kensington Palace before delivering her speech and joining guests for dinner in the King’s Gallery.

Accompanied by SportsAid chief executive Tim Lawler, The Duchess met alumni Tanni Grey-Thompson, Sharron Davies, Christine Ohuruogu, Sally Brown, Hollie Arnold and Laviai Nielsen, and current recipients boxer Chantelle Reid, wheelchair basketball player Christy Gregan and 400m runner Lina Nielsen (TASS award).

“I told The Duchess how much SportsAid has helped me with my funding, physio and nutrition,” said Chantelle – one of the first SportsAid athletes to receive a Backing the Best award with Sport England. “I get around £5,000 a year and I really hope to make it for Tokyo 2020.”

The Duchess also spoke to long-term partners of the charity such as Jennie Price of Sport England, and had the opportunity to watch current SportsAid athletes including Chantelle and Christy in action as she saw live boxing, wheelchair basketball, judo, fencing and archery demonstrations.

Young judoka Molly Harvey, Amy Platten, Showgo Kimura and Daniel Holt took part in the judo demonstrations for The Duchess and attending guests.

Picture credit: SportsAid