Duchess of Cambridge gets on court at the National Tennis Centre
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The Duchess of Cambridge got on court with a host of youngsters and heard from a Wimbledon champion when she visited the National Tennis Centre on Tuesday.
The Duchess, who is Patron of the Lawn Tennis Association, took part in a Tennis for Kids coaching session with local schoolchildren and British No.1 Johanna Konta, before moving on to see double Wimbledon champion Alfie Hewett in action.
A keen tennis player, the Duchess was first greeted by LTA President Martin Corrie and Director of People Vicky Williams at the NTC in Roehampton, southwest London.
"We are delighted to have welcomed Her Royal Highness to the National Tennis Centre today," Corrie said. "We are honoured to have her as our Patron and to be able to give an insight into the work the LTA is doing to get more people playing tennis more often.
"Our Tennis For Kids programme has been a great success and it's been fantastic to see Her Royal Highness on court and interacting so enthusiastically with the children."
She was introduced to LTA staff who are helping grow the game's grass roots, sports science staff, and Head Coach of Women's Tennis Jeremy Bates, Fed Cup Captain Anne Keothavong, and Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith.
The Duchess then took to the court for an introduction to Tennis for Kids, with British star Johanna Konta adding her expertise to the bespoke session.
Following the visit, Konta said: "It was fantastic to meet Her Royal Highness today. She is an incredibly kind and gracious person and that really came through with the interaction I had with her. She asked about my season and the Tennis For Kids activity on court. Having someone like her visit today, with such a passion and interest for the game, brings only good things for our sport.
"The children today were so excited to meet a 'princess' and to see them enjoying themselves on court is exactly what this is all about."
Hewett, the Paralympic silver medalist and three-time Grand Slam champion, then ran the Duchess through a wheelchair tennis training session, with the Duchess operating a serve machine for the British star.
"It was a real honour to have the Duchess here today and for us to demonstrate different aspects of tennis," Hewett said. "It was great to showcase wheelchair tennis alongside the Tennis For Kids and Junior coaching.
"For the Duchess to get involved in all of these shows real respect from her and her presence helps show the nation that there is so much more to tennis."
To wrap up her time on court, the Duchess met with some of the country's top junior players, before going on to speak with coaches and administrators from Coach Core, a Royal Foundation-backed apprenticeship programme that supports young people building a career in sports coaching.
Before leaving the NTC, the Duchess was presented with flowers and gifts from the Children's Heart Federation's Olivia Lake, and Ethan Ralph, a patient at the Royal Marsden Hospital.