Harry, an active polo player and patron of Rugby Football Union, teamed up with professional boxers Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams
Prince Harry is pulling no punches when it comes to championing the power of sports.
The new dad, who welcomed son Archie with Meghan Markle on May 6, continued his busy week on Tuesday at the launch of Made by Sport, a new campaign bringing together a coalition of charities supporting disadvantaged young people through sport.
Harry, an active polo player and patron of Rugby Football Union, teamed up with professional boxers Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams at the Black Prince Trust in London, where he met young people learning about the sport.
“A lot of kids your age have had anger and emotions they don’t know what to do with, that’s not unique,” the prince, 34, told a group of children who were sparing using gloves and pads. “They are looking for a way to channel it, and this where they should be doing it. You make friends, you find family, you are just part of a different gang.”
Joshua, in his first public appearance since a surprise loss in New York City to Andy Ruiz Jr. earlier this month, added, “Just remember, everyone has a purpose in life. All you need is a t-shirt, a tracksuit and a pair of gloves.”
In the ring, Harry chatted with Adams, who won an Olympic boxing title in 2012 and was also an Olympic gold flyweight medalist in 2016.
She told reporters, “I am really proud to be part of this initiative. I think every child deserves to have the chance to participate in sport. I was quite shocked to hear the statistics that not even half of children in schools get the chance to do sport. It was shocking to hear. This project will give children the chance to get involved in sport, if their parents don’t have the funds to help them.”
Among the children joined by Prince Harry in the ring were Oasis Academy schoolgirls Naomi Tsehaie, 11, Abigael Dosso, 12, and Khadija Wurie, 12.
Naomi said, “We are all here because we love sport and how it makes us feel. Nicola showed me a few tricks, like how to spin my hand around and punch. And we had been really nervous about meeting Prince Harry, but he was great and talking to us about how good sports makes us feel.”
Harry also gave a speech where he spoke about the benefits of sports.
“You can almost separate the people who have had sport in their lives from a very young age compared to the people who haven’t,” he explained. “I don’t have a problem saying that as a set of core values, as development for your own self, that if you don’t have sport in your life then your life is going to be a very isolated journey.”
Prince Harry continued, “We have a responsibility with this campaign to ensure that the places that are being shut down are not being shut down and that people from all walks of society every corner of this country are actually given the opportunity to shine, to flourish.”
The new dad added that sports provide a “human connection” addition to staying healthy and active.
“This is about community. This is about providing an opportunity to young people, all over the place, to actually be part of something. Something that they might not be getting at home, within their own community,” he said. “But the moment they walk in those doors of the sports club or the gym, or anywhere, all of a sudden they are part of a team. They have this human connection which otherwise they wouldn’t have. I don’t think we can put a price to that.”
He concluded, “This is going to change lives, and it will save lives.”
Made By Sport is a four-year campaign set up to champion the role sport can play in changing lives, as well as raising vital funds for community groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas of the country. It is targeting $55 million for its grassroots fundraising campaign.
It will link more than 60 different sporting organizations to achieve to aims with reach into thousands of schools and clubs across the country. Statistics show that young people from poorer backgrounds are 50% less likely to play sports regularly.
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Harry has long encouraged sports in young people. In February, he met volunteers and young leaders from Streatham Youth and Community Trust (SYCT) who were running trampolining and Jiu-jitsu sessions for children, ages 7 to 16, at the John Corfield Centre. He then moved on to join staff and helpers making a healthy hot lunch.
The lunches fill the hunger gap for those kids who would often receive a hot meal at school. Launched in 2016, the “Fit and Fed” program is led by one of Harry’s charities, StreetGames, in a bid to tackle holiday hunger, inactivity and isolation.