The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, shoots for a goal wearing a white top and blue jeans.

Picture by Andrew Parsons / Kensington Palace ©

The Prince and Princess of Wales delved into the world of goalball last week, bringing royal attention to a sport that champions mental wellbeing and inclusivity.

Their Royal Highnesses attended a special event at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, hosted by SportsAid on 12th October.

With expert guidance from Goalball UK’s Alex Bunney, the royal couple took their shot at the sport. The Princess, Patron of SportsAid since 2013, scored a goal past GB athlete Lois Turner. However, the Prince’s attempt was impressively blocked by GB Men’s Caleb Nanevie. 

“It was an unforgettable experience to have the Prince and Princess so engaged with goalball,” shared Alex Bunney, Participation Lead at Goalball UK. “They showed genuine interest in the sport and the athletes present, highlighting the importance of mental health and well-being in sports. It was a day and an experience I will never forget!”

Alex Bunney stands and instructs the participants

Image credit: © SportsAid

Lois Turner, GB Women goalball athlete, also expressed her excitement: “The Prince and Princess really got stuck in and it was amazing for them to be trying our sport. It was great to spread the word about the sport and enable people to experience what it’s like being visually impaired. Goalball provides great opportunities both on and off the course and it’s really enjoyable to raise awareness of this. The Prince and Princess gave it a go – I’m sure they’ve had their own barriers in life and it’s great to see them show that these can be overcome and put themselves in other people’s shoes.”

Prince William holds a goalball in one hand and points at a monitor with another whilst Lois Turner, GB athlete stands next to him

Image credit: © SportsAid

Matt Loftus and Caleb Nanevie, both part of GB Men’s Senior Squad also attended the event. Caleb said “The royal engagement was a really big step in raising awareness of goalball and also supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing, both in sports and in life.”

“Mental health is one of those things in sports that kind of gets neglected. More recently there is more of a focus on it and to have Kate and William being champions for it will really help demonstrate that not everybody has to be worried about showing they have a little bit of a blockage sometimes when it comes to sport. Having a healthy mindset can help you perform and be your best as both a sportsperson and athlete” 

The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, stands and speaks to GB Men's Caleb Nanevie

Image credit: © SportsAid

SportsAid, in partnership with BelievePerform, has been a beacon of support for young athletes. Their online platform offers valuable resources on mental fitness for athletes and guidance for parents and guardians.

In line with its mission to further promote inclusivity and support, Goalball UK is committed to championing the mental well-being of its players. Recognising the pressures that come with competitive sports, Goalball UK has introduced several initiatives as part of its talent pathway alongside support from SportsAid and TASS.

One standout collaboration is with the True Athlete Project, which focuses on holistic athlete development, emphasising both well-being and mental health. This partnership has facilitated a series of projects and workshops that aim to equip players with the tools and strategies they need to maintain sound mental health, both on and off the court. Such initiatives underline Goalball UK’s enduring commitment to the all-round welfare of goalball players.

Prince William stands holding a goalball and wearing eye shades, ready to shoot

Picture by Andrew Parsons / Kensington Palace ©

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Further information:

Princess of Wales shows support for SportsAid’s Mind Health programme alongside Prince of Wales (Source: SportsAid)

Why Kate Middleton Is Going Home with ‘Bragging Rights’ Over Prince William After Sports Day (Source: People)

Blindfolded Kate Middleton and Prince William go head-to-head – and get very competitive (Source: Daily Mirror)

About SportsAid

SportsAid’s mission is to encourage, enable and empower the next generation of British athletes to achieve their ambitions in sport and life! Over 1,000 talented young sports stars – the vast majority aged 12 to 18 – are nominated to SportsAid each year to receive financial support and a range of personal development opportunities. These athletes are the country’s brightest prospects having been selected and put forward to the charity by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports.