Prince William Salutes Young Coaches Making a Difference in Their Communities amid Pandemic

Simon Perry
·3-min read

Falkland Islands Government/Youtube Prince William

Prince William is celebrating young sports coaches for helping to inspire their communities during the difficult days of the COVID-19 crisis.

William, 38, praised the budding athletic coaches and their mentors for taking the next steps on their journey to motivate their peers – and create new and exciting careers for themselves.

The prince made an online address to the 2020 Coach Core awards on Thursday that focused on the importance of sports in helping to empower young people. He saluted this year’s apprentices for their resilience as they adapted their work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year, more than any in the program’s history, Coach Core’s apprentices have had to overcome challenges, adapt and learn to be flexible in the face of difficulty. I am so proud – both of your individual accomplishments this year – and of Coach Core itself,” William said.

Kensington Palace Prince William

Coach Core was one of the programs that William and Kate Middleton shared with Prince Harry under the Royal Foundation (Harry and Meghan Markle went to the organization’s awards in 2018). It is now a charity in its own right.

William added, “I’m pleased to say that over the last eight years it has grown substantially . . . working with over 500 apprentices in 14 sites across the country. So, congratulations once again to the entire Coach Core network for helping bring huge opportunities to young people and communities across the U.K.”

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Coach Core was established by the royals as Britain hosted the Olympics in 2012, and aimed to help change lives by empowering young people who are not otherwise in education or employment, and create the next generation of sports coaches who go on to inspire future generations in their own communities .

This year's awards, which were streamed virtually for the first time, celebrated the best of Coach Core talent, from apprentices and graduates, to mentors and tutors. The six awards presented this evening include Apprentice of the Year, Graduate of the Year, Employer of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Tutor of the Year and Community Impact.

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In a statement, Jason Knauf, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Foundation said, “Coach Core was one of The Royal Foundation’s first programs and has grown to have an incredible impact on local communities across the country. We are very proud that Coach Core is now an independent charity and are confident that it will continue to inspire the next generation of coaches.”

Gary Laybourne, Chief Executive Officer of Coach Core, added, “With the impact of Covid-19 having such a massive impact on the lives of young people both short and long term, we are extremely proud of how we have responded in what is our first year as a charity too. Not only have we worked harder than ever to provide opportunity and support throughout this time, but with the launch of our new strategy next year, we are determined to bring the Coach Core offer to more young people and more communities than ever before.”