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Friday, December 2, 2011

Kate, William and Harry will be given a special role as 'Olympics ambassadors' for 2012

By Sadie Whitelocks

Kate Middleton will join the two Princes as an Olympic ambassador, Palace officials revealed today.

In the run up to the 2012 Games the royal trio will visit teams across the country, meeting with athletes as preparations gather momentum.

This national role will be a first for the Duchess of Cambridge, 29, who is yet to decide which sporting projects to endorse.

By royal appointment: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry have been named official London 2012 ambassadors

Prince William kicked off with a message of support for the Team GB Ambition Programme.

He said: 'Catherine, Harry and I are honoured to be ambassadors for Team GB and Paralympics GB.

'We are hugely looking forward to this incredible sporting competition, but are also looking beyond next summer's Games to the springboard it will provide for future success.'

It is an apt role for Kate, as at school she was proficient in sports including tennis, hockey, swimming, netball and rounders and has since been a member of various rowing teams.

For the past few months she has been visiting good causes and organisations in the UK, and will be announcing next year which she will support as Patron.

Meanwhile Prince William - also the President of The Football Association - has participated in a wide range of sporting activities over the years including rugby, hockey, football, basketball and cross-country running.

While at St. Andrews University, he also represented the Scottish national universities water polo team in the annual Celtic Nations tournament against Wales and Ireland.

And both Princes share a passion for polo which they play regularly throughout the summer supporting charities including the Tusk Trust, Centrepoint and Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, which helps orphans in Lesotho.

Andy Hunt, chief executive of the British Olympic Association said: 'It is a great motivation for Team GB that the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry are supporting their efforts next year and we hope together we can ensure that the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is behind our athletes in their quest for Olympic success.'

Earlier this year, the Tate Movie Project invited Kate to voice a cartoon character as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Makers of the 27 minute film composed and drawn entirely by 16,000 primary school children, revealed her as one of the top celebrity options, but it is not known if she accepted the offer.

The trio's promotional undertaking, which is aimed at encouraging the public to support the sportsmen and women - deepens the monarchy's connections with the Games.

Coming along nicely: The Olympic site in Stratford is fast approaching completion

The Queen is patron of the British Olympic Association (BOA) while the Princess Royal is its president, a member of the International Olympic Committee and also on the London 2012 board.

The Earl of Wessex is patron of the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

And the Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, is a former equestrian world champion who could still be in line to compete at London 2012.

She was in the GB eventing line-up for the 2008 Olympics but had to withdraw after her horse, Toytown, with whom she won the European and world titles in 2005 and 2006 respectively, became injured.

It was also announced that the Queen will has approved rooms at St. James's Palace to rented out as party venues to companies with royal warrants.

Tim Hollingsworth, the British Paralympic Association's chief executive, said: 'The Paralympic Games are coming home in 2012 and we want to use this opportunity to raise the profile of Paralympic sport in this country and ensure that the nation takes British Paralympians to their hearts.

'We're sure that the presence of their Royal Highnesses will help us achieve this goal and it will give the athletes a tremendous lift to know that they are going to be supporting them.'

The Olympic Games will take place July 27 to August 12 while the Paralympic Games will run from August 29 to September 9.

The London Olympic Stadium, located in Stratford will be the centrepiece of the event. With capacity for 80,000 spectators it is the third largest stadium in Britain behind Wembley and Twickenham.



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