Simon Perry
November 29, 2013 09:40 AM

It was the Duchess of Cambridge‘s turn for a night out Thursday, as she dazzled in an Alice Temperley cocktail dress at a sports-award ceremony, where she bonded with veteran and up-and-coming British athletes.

Wearing towering 4½-inch black suede Jimmy Choo heels, Kate, 31, attended an event for the charity SportsAid and presented its One-to-Watch Award – honoring an especially promising young British sportsman or -woman – to Amber Hill, a 16-year-old shooter from Bracknell.

“She congratulated me on how amazingly I have done,” Hill, who holds the junior shotgun world record, told reporters afterward. “It’s so nice that she recognizes young up-and-coming athletes. She’s a great role model.”

In an interview during the show, host John Inverdale told Hill: “Shooting. It’s not the sexiest sport in the world.” She jokingly replied: “I’m sure I can make it [sexy].”

“Kate said she loved my comments,” Hill explained later. Of the award, she added: “It was totally unexpected. I really couldn’t believe it.”

The duchess also chatted with a fellow new mother at the event – Olympic gold-medalist rower Anna Watkins, who gave birth to a son on Sept. 20. “I’ve met Kate before, during the Olympics. She’s lovely and so interested and supportive of athletes,” Watkins told reporters.

“She asked me what I’ve been up to since the Olympics and I said, ‘Well, actually, I’ve had a baby.’ … I didn’t ask about [Prince] George, I’m afraid. I didn’t pry about who was babysitting!”

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On that score, it turned out Kate’s husband, Prince William, had a dinner date of his own – an event at Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre.

Kate’s night out came two days after William, 31, was the guest of honor – and a guest singer – at a gala for homelessness charity Centrepoint. That night, Kate was at home at Kensington Palace with the newest addition to the royal family.

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