Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Celebrate Commonwealth

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Celebrate Commonwealth


North and East London

Thursday 22nd March, 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake two engagements celebrating the Commonwealth on Thursday 22nd March, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April.

The Duke and Duchess will begin the day at a SportsAid event at the Copper Box in the Olympic Park. SportsAid is the only national charity of its kind – helping young British sportsmen and women aspiring to be the country’s next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and world champions. Their Royal Highnesses will watch a wheelchair basketball session and meet the players, some of whom hope to compete in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in which the sport will feature for the first time. The Duke and Duchess will then be shown a media training session for young athletes. Every year SportsAid supports over 1,000 athletes – the vast majority aged 12-18 – by providing a financial award to help with training and competition costs. The charity also helps develop other vital skills for professional athletes, such as media training, nutritional advice and performance lifestyle guidance.

The Duke and Duchess will finally take part in a Commonwealth Quiz in which athletes, coaches and supporters will be questioned on their knowledge of the Commonwealth. The visit comes less than a month before the 2018 Commonwealth Games get underway on the Gold Coast with hundreds of previous SportsAid recipients set to represent the home nations across a wide range of sports.

The Duke and Duchess will go on to take part in preparations for a Commonwealth Big Lunch at St Luke’s Community Centre, London. The Centre provides services and activities for locals at the heart of the EC1 community, and has a range of facilities including a fully-equipped Cookery School, which runs community classes on healthy, home cooking and avoiding food waste. On arrival Their Royal Highnesses will be given a briefing on the work of the community centre in the café, meeting staff and volunteers. They will take part in a recipe workshop and discussion in the kitchen with service users, who regularly discuss their favourite dishes and what inspires them to make them.

The Centre hosts a ‘Big Lunch’ every year as part of the Eden Project’s Big Lunch initiative. The Big Lunch aims to encourage as many people as possible to have lunch with members of their community once a year to share food and encourage friendship. Commonwealth Big Lunches are part of the official celebrations leading up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and are taking place from Commonwealth Day on 12th March until 22nd April. The Duke and Duchess will help put the finishing touches to the meal that is being prepared for this year’s Big Lunch, alongside centre users and volunteers.

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