The Duchess of Cambridge has admitted that she's taken a step-back from sports since becoming a mum. Renowned for her love of tennis, sporty Kate delighted schoolchildren on Wednesday when she paid a visit to Bond Primary School in Mitcham to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, where she spoke about her love for the game. At the end of her visit, she told the children: "A big thank you from me as well because I've loved playing with you all - it's so energetic and exciting to be part of it, so well done for all the hard work.
"And I love tennis. I think it's a great sport, I was really sporty when I was little, less so now that I've got lots of babies,” she added, patting her belly. Kate's baby is due in April, and she appeared to be sporting only a small bump beneath her tracksuit top.
The Duchess of Cambridge played tennis with schoolchildren in Mitcham on Wednesday
The Duchess also showed her maternal side when some of the children – who had lined up to say goodbye to her with a polite handshake – couldn’t resist hugging her instead. Kate responded by hugging them back, much to the delight of the head teacher Despo Stevens. “How delightful that it didn’t feel like royalty at a distance but royalty amongst the people. I’m in awe of how down to earth and engaged she was with everyone. The children didn’t hesitate in showing her affection - that is how they are here - and she didn’t seem to mind at all. I’m sure her mothering instinct came out," she said.
Kate's maternal side came out as she hugged the schoolchildren
During her visit, Kate revealed that her and William were "very competitive" when it came to playing tennis against each other. Mrs Stevens said: "She said she plays tennis with William and that they’re very competitive, but she didn’t say who wins." The head teacher added that Kate had said that she was trying to play tennis with her son: "She said she is trying to play tennis with Prince George and said that he is enjoying some of the extra curricular clubs at school. She also said that Charlotte is enjoying nursery."
Sporty Kate paid a visit to Bond Primary School in Mitcham
Kate, who is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) - home of the Wimbledon championships - was at the 480-pupil school to see the work of the community programme that works with around 65 schools in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth to offer free coaching sessions and promote the benefits of physical activity. She took part in practice sessions in the school hall with children as young as four, as well as 11-year-olds, covering agility, mentoring and racquet skills.