St Albans sprinter meets Duchess of Cambridge

Kyle Powell

Kyle Powell - Credit: Archant

St Albans disability sprinter Kyle Powell was handpicked to spend time with the Duchess of Cambridge last week – and he’s out to ensure it isn’t the only brush with royalty he has in his career.

The 17-year-old was invited to attend a SportsAid workshop in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with more than 70 athletes past and present descending on the Copper Box.

Powell got to try different sports aside from athletics as well as getting nutritional and social media advice from former Olympians such as 2004 bronze-medal winning swimmer Steve Parry.

But it was one person in particular who stood out for the Oaklands College pupil as her Royal Highness, attending the event in her role as a SportsAid patron, swapped stories with him.

“It was really cool getting to meet the Duchess of Cambridge,” said Powell. “I was just looking forward to the event and knowing that she was there and then I got chosen to actually speak with her.

“When she came over, she came and introduced herself to us and shook my hand. She was really nice. She asked me if I had any more races coming up and I told her that I didn’t because my season was finished and that I was just working towards training.

“She said she knows how hard training could be because she used to play hockey and told me good luck. I was a bit nervous beforehand but she is a lovely person and really fun to talk to.

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“It was the first time I have met anyone from the royal family, hopefully I can meet some more if I do well in my career.

“The whole event was great, we discussed in groups what it takes to get to the top as an athlete. Being from different sports, it was good to share ideas and look at things from a different point of view.”

While sharing a day out at the Olympic Park with royalty makes for a nice break from training, Powell will not be getting too distracted when it comes to his future development.

And, after a summer which saw him come sixth in the 100m at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium, Powell is aiming big again next season.

“The big target is to go to my first major championships with the IPC European Championships in August,” he added. “But before that we have the World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville.

“With both of them being in Great Britain, it will be a lot of fun to compete in front of the home crowds.

“The summer was really good for me, with the highlight getting selected for the Anniversary Games and competing in front of 65,000 people.

“That was the best day of my life but also the scariest. I’m just in winter training now until the indoor season starts in January, it’s just about trying to do as well as I can.”

Lloyds Bank Local Heroes, in partnership with Sports Aid, has supported 1000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Lloyds Bank’s commitment to helping future sports starts prosper, the programme has continued in 2013. Follow future stars at