Duchess of Cambridge and Judy Murray show off tennis skills
KATE Middleton has showed off her batting prowess at Craigmount High School during a game of tennis led by tennis guru, Judy Murray.
A svelte-looking Kate threw herself in to an hour-and-a-half session, including training exercises, aimed at helping pupils develop an early interest in the game.
The Duchess played balloon tennis with children from four city primary schools during the event packed with national photographers.
She also took a masterclass on how to hold and move a tennis racket properly - though this seemed second nature to Kate - a natural on the court.
Some of the lucky high school students from Craigmount, who participated alongside the elegant royal, said they were “starstruck” but thought she fitted in well with the workshop.
The session was part of Judy’s ‘Tennis on the Road Programme’, which aims to get kids active and help kickstart and develop tennis in Scotland.
The Dutchess, who beamed throughout the event, had earlier joined hundreds of pupils at St Catherine’s Primary for a special assembly where she sang and performed hand actions during a performance to welcome the royal visitor.
The school is one of 28 in Scotland where counsellors from children’s mental health charity Place2Be are on hand to support pupils having difficulties.
Charity patron Kate met teachers to discuss the programme after singing along to Welcome Everybody at an assembly where youngsters presented her with a quaich, a Scottish toasting cup.
She told pupils: “I think everybody should start their morning like that. Have a wonderful day.”
Kate, who wore a forest green Max Mara coat and a skirt by Le Kilt, from designer Samantha McCoach, will later join Andy Murray’s mother Judy at a tennis workshop in the Scottish capital.
The Duchess is visiting three school-based charity projects linked to causes close to her heart.
Place2Be works in schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Duchess later spoke to pupils gathered outside the school, complimenting them on their singing.
Sophie Winters, eight, said: “She said we sang really well.”
Fellow primary four pupil Cinar Guvenc, also eight, said: “She asked if we had missed a lesson for the visit and I told her we had missed maths.”
Suzy Routledge, chairwoman of the school’s parent council, said Place2Be had provided invaluable support to her son when he was having difficulties.
She said: “They did a lot of play therapy and art therapy with him, and he was able to express himself and work out that he was feeling a lot of emotions that he didn’t really understand.
“Place2Be helped him to find strategies to work through his emotions which helped him to understand his outbursts.”
Charity chief executive Catherine Roche said: “It’s a fantastic day for Place2Be in Scotland, it really helps to shine a spotlight on our work here and highlight the importance of children’s mental health and the role that it plays in underpinning a child’s ability to achieve, to develop and flourish in life.”
Place2Be, which has been working in Scotland for 15 years, now works in 28 schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
It provides in-school support and training to improve the emotional well-being of pupils and their families, including therapy to pupils in need, including those who have experienced a family breakdown, bereavement or domestic abuse.
The Art Room, which put down roots north of the border in 2014, works with children to increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence through art.