The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined with Greenhouse on Thursday 26 July to launch ‘Coach Core’ – a training and apprentice coach development programme.
Their Royal Highnesses visited a special sports day where they met and played table tennis, basketball and football with 100 Greenhouse participants from across London.
Meanwhile Prince Harry had a go at shooting hoops with Timi, one of our new Coach Core recruits and The Duke of Cambridge played football with youngsters from Greenhouse Bethwin FC.
They joined with Greenhouse to launch the new coaching programme which will give post over 16s’ the chance to not only become qualified coaches but trained mentors in their chosen sport.
Funded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry, Greenhouse will run Coach Core on a 12-18 month pilot in the hope the programme can be rolled out nationally to other sporting governing bodies (such as the Football Association and Rugby Football Union).
At Thursday’s launch at Bacons College in Southwark, The Duke of Cambridge, said: “ Watching me on the football field is never a pretty sight – the expression ‘giraffe on ice’ springs to mind. However it is marginally less embarrassing than seeing my brother cheat his way to becoming the fastest man on the planet! Catherine, on the other hand, with a tennis racquet or a hockey stick is something to behold and be aware of.
“But what all three of us have in common is that we love sport. And not just playing it, but for what it does for people young and old. It builds confidence, engenders mutual respect and responsibility, and teaches us about the value of team work. That’s why Catherine, Harry and I are so excited about Coach Core, this brilliant programme developed by the Greenhouse Charity in partnership with our Foundation.”
A former Greenhouse basketball participant at the school, Timi Tinubu, also gave a moving speech about how his Greenhouse Coach had taught him discipline and helped him focus at school, a skill he wants to pass on as a young Coach Core Coach.
Greenhouse Chief Executive, Michael de Giorgio, said: ”You just heard from Timi how much of a difference a sports coach, when acting as a positive mentor, can make to the lives of young people as they move through school.”
He added: ”Our hope is that in the long run this project will also contribute to a transformation in the way that young coaches are trained in the UK, bringing a new emphasis on the skills needed to mentor young people as well as develop them technically.”
Coach Core’s aim is to engage Greenhouse’s older participants, especially those who may not be following a pathway into higher education, employment or training.
The trainees will gain work experience and qualifications to become the next generation of technically excellent, well-rounded coaches.
The Royal Foundation’s support of Greenhouse follows The Duke’s tribute to our ‘empowering, remarkable charity’ when Greenhouse was chosen as one of the charities to benefit from The Times Christmas Appeal which raised over £200,000.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also chose Greenhouse as one of the charities to benefit from their Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund in 2011.