Prince Harry jokes with Olympic gymnast: 'You didn't win golds on timing obviously'

By Ainhoa Barcelona

Prince Harry didn't leave his trademark sense of humour behind on Friday (Oct. 7) when he attended an engagement at the Lord's Cricket Ground, where he joked around with Olympian Max Whitlock.

The royal was visiting the space to mark the expansion of the Coach Core sports apprenticeship programme, an endeavour that was launched two years ago by Harry, Prince William and Kate launched four years ago.

Harry was introduced to 23-year-old Max – Great Britain's most decorated gymnast with two gold medals – who is working as an unofficial ambassador for Coach Core. Max proudly sported one of those medals around his neck, prompting some light teasing from Harry.


"When you're ready, Max. You don't win golds on timing obviously," said Harry

As the Prince and other sports stars waited for Max to pose for a group picture, Harry shouted: "When you're ready, Max. You don't win golds on timing obviously."


The 32-year-old royal was promoting Coach Core, a programme that trains young people from disadvantaged communities to become professional sports coaches. The scheme is being rolled out to ten cities across the UK, working with 100 partners across sports clubs, NGOs and other organizations.

The Prince was put through his paces at the Coach Core engagement

Harry gave a speech saying: "I can't believe that it was just four years ago that my brother, Catherine and I launched Coach Core. Coach Core is providing world class sports and training opportunities that previously did not exist in sports coaching.

"The young people here today have a real chance of moving on into employment or training and in turn will inspire thousands of other young people to take part in sport – extending the positive reach of this programme."


"By training the next generation of coaches to put the child first and the sport second, we hope the ripple effect of positive experiences in sport are felt by their participants in their communities," he added. "Therefore changing lives and in turn, creating a surge of sporting enthusiasts."

Harry, Prince William and Kate launched the apprenticeship programme four years ago

The sporting programme certainly resonates with Harry. At school the prince excelled at sports, leading him to become a games captain at Eton. During his gap year he trained as an assistant development officer with the Rugby Football Union and he is now patron of the Rugby Football Union All Schools Programme.

At Friday's engagement Harry was put through his paces as he kicked a football and threw and caught a tennis ball and netball. "That's quite hard work," said Harry, looking slightly alarmed when he was told he was only halfway through the exercise. "I'm dizzy already."

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