On Thursday, the Prince and Princess of Wales paid a visit to Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Marlow. This visit was part of a series of scheduled engagements for the week, all in honor of World Mental Health Day, which is observed annually on October 10th. During their royal visit, the couple's main focus was to raise awareness of the relationship between mental health and sports.
They took part in a mental fitness workshop organized by SportsAid in collaboration with SportsAid's charitable partner, BelievePerform. This workshop had the specific goal of providing support to young athletes and their families in managing their mental well-being. It also aimed to educate them on how they can develop the necessary skills to ensure positive and healthy experiences in sports and other aspects of life.
As part of their visit, Princess Kate participated in sessions alongside young athletes and their parents to witness how SportsAid is enhancing their mental well-being. Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and Commonwealth champion netball player Ama Agbeze, serving as SportsAid ambassadors, were present to assist with these sessions.
Later in the morning, Prince William and Princess Kate joined young athletes and engaged in two hands-on sessions aimed at nurturing mental strength. The pair participated in a demanding activity that involved trying to earn points by shooting a netball into the hoop within a limited time frame.
To conclude, William and Kate engaged in a game of goalball, which is a Paralympic sport designed for the visually impaired. In this sport, all participants must wear blindfolds to ensure a level playing field. Goalball was created in 1946 as a means of rehabilitation for veterans who had lost their vision during World War II.
Princess Kate enthusiastically participated in the activity, temporarily removing her blue blazer to engage in the Paralympic sport. She seemed comfortable and skilled as she adeptly threw the ball while wearing a black eye mask.
During this special visit, Princess Kate maintained her typically elegant appearance, donning a striking cobalt blue blazer along with dark jeans and her dependable Veja trainers. She added a touch of refinement to her attire with a pair of gold star hoop earrings, enhancing her features with a touch of rosy blush, generous mascara, and a neutral lipstick.
Kate was also seen with a slight finger injury in photographs, not long after images showed her with two band-aids on her fingers due to a trampolining mishap while playing with her children at home.
Back then, a representative from Kensington Palace described it as a “minor injury” and assured that it wasn't a significant issue. In the meantime, Kate explained, “I was bouncing on the trampoline,” and then mentioned, “I applied the band-aids just to ensure it stays protected,” while indicating her adhesive bandages.
On the other hand, Prince William adopted a relaxed appearance by wearing a navy sweater, comfortable jeans, and trainers in a shade of mocha.
The Princess of Wales has held the role of Patron for SportsAid since 2013. Additionally, in 2022, Their Royal Highnesses paid a visit to the SportsAid's Team England Futures program during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
William and Kate, as a duo, have been actively involved in promoting the mental well-being of children for several years. In 2016, Their Royal Highnesses initiated the Heads Together Campaign with the aim of addressing the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting open conversations about mental well-being. At the campaign's launch, Prince William remarked, “When Catherine, Harry, and I introduced Heads Together, it's safe to say that we had high hopes for what it could accomplish.”
Catherine was the one who initially recognized that the three of us were separately dedicated to addressing mental health in our specific areas of interest. She had observed that beneath adult challenges such as addiction and family disintegration, unresolved childhood mental health issues frequently played a significant role in the overall problem.
On Wednesday, Prince William and Princess Kate had a unique visit to Birmingham, during which they participated in a set of mental health workshops in the Digbeth district of the West Midlands city.
In a rare public address, Kate expressed, “Just as we recognize the necessity to restore, safeguard, and invest in our planet, we must also work to restore, protect, and invest in the communities, relationships, and individuals residing on it. We believe this process commences with the youth, but it involves all of us. After all, when you consider it, each of us has the capacity to influence the world in which we dwell.
“Thus, like you, we understand that merely discussing mental health is insufficient. While more conversations on this topic are occurring, it is now imperative that we dedicate more time to how we approach the dialogue about mental health—most importantly, what actions we will take to create constructive, preventive solutions for one of the most pressing challenges of our time.”
On Wednesday, in connection with World Mental Health Day, they journeyed to Milton Keynes and Nottingham. During their visit, Princess Kate engaged in conversations with students at Nottingham Trent University, while Prince William met with emergency responders at the Milton Keynes Blue Light Hub.