Simon Perry
October 18, 2017 10:10 AM

 

Kate Middleton made her second surprise visit of the week on Wednesday.

The expectant royal mom — who announced on Tuesday that she is due with baby no. 3 in April — joined Prince William and Prince Harry to hail the next generation of young sports coaches in London.

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In a previously unannounced appearance, she joined the royal brothers to salute 150 apprentices who’ve graduated from Coach Core, a mentoring program founded by the royal trio.

Kate looked chic in blue blazer by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini (which she also owns in red!), pairing it over a black turtle neck, skinny jeans and ankle boots.

During the visit, William and Kate were presented with West Ham soccer jerseys for 4-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte — despite the fact that William cheers for rival team Aston Villa.

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“I told my little girl, who’s only 8, that I was coming to meet the royals and she was so jealous,” says West Ham club captain Mark Noble. “I can’t wait to show her photos. She’ll think I’m more of a great dad now than I was yesterday.”

When Prince William met a young recently-trained coach, he asked for some help teaching Prince George and Princess Charlotte how to swim.

“He offered me a job teaching his kids to swim,” Alex Ferrier, 22, tells PEOPLE. “I said I might take him up on that!”

 

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On Monday, Kate surprised onlookers when she turned up to dance with Paddington Bear at a special party for kids associated with some of the royals’ charities. Although she has been suffering from severe morning sickness, a royal source says “she’s better and is keen to do as much as she can. But she’s taking it day-to-day in deciding what she can do.”

Apprentices from all over the U.K. were honored at West Ham’s football stadium, the former Olympic stadium in London. Five years ago, the royal trio set up the Coach Core program on the eve of the 2012 London Games.

Designed by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, the program aims to improve the availability and quality of sports coaching and boost the confidence of 16-24 year olds with limited opportunities.

Kensington Royal/Twitter

It also emphasizes employability and mentoring skills. By training young people as sports coaches, the program encourages them to be positive role models and mentors in their communities, too.

Judy Murray, a tennis coach who helped train her son Andy to Grand Slam standard, caught up with Kate to talk about their shared love of sports. She tells PEOPLE, “To have the backing of the princes and the duchess is amazing and a huge inspiration for all the young people.”

Kensington Royal/Twitter

She said she and Kate spoke about developing coordination in children. “We were talking about the things you can do with kids when they’re little to help them develop those core skills. They don’t need to be taught by a coach. Parents have got a big role to play in that. The prince and the duchess are very sporty, so I’m sure they’ll be keen for their kids to enjoy sport as well.

“We were talking about the things you can do with balloons when kids are very small. She’s been trying with the balloons and I was telling her to try bubbles as well. Blow bubbles and splat them with a little table tennis bat. It’s a fun way of developing those basic skills. Kids learn best when they’re playing.”

Before the ceremony, Kate and the princes watched some practical sessions in action, seeing various coaches going through their drills.

At a reception at the stadium, they met some of the key figures who have helped to run the program as well as hearing about future plans for Coach Core.

Coach Core says it has transformed the lives of its apprentices, with 98% of its graduates now employed full-time or continuing their education, while 80% retain strong ties with their employers and continue to engage in community sports.

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