William and Kate go head-to-head in canoe race during youth centre visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tested out their sporting abilities at a youth facility in Co Fermanagh as part of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

William and Kate joined in with children as they took part in a range of activities including archery, canoeing and an assault course.

The action-packed afternoon at Roscor Youth Village kicked off with the duchess being given a demonstration on how to assemble cooking utensils used for camping, before she helped put up a tent.

The Youth Village, which sits on the shores of Lough Erne, caters for young children from across the island of Ireland.

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William took up position in the back of his boat for the race, which his team won (Niall Carson/PA)

It offers a place of safety and hope for thousands of young people who face challenges at home or in care.

The duke spoke to the children about what they love most about the facility.

They described to him their favourite activities and how they have made life-long friends at the Youth Village.

The couple were greeted to the facility by a range of people including Roland Eadie, deputy lieutenant of County Fermanagh; chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh Council Howard Thornton; Charlie Mack, the chief executive of the charity Extern; and Mark Rodgers from Roscor Youth Village.

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Kate helped the children put up a tent at Roscor Youth Village (Niall Carson/PA)

As part of the tour of the facilities, Kate tried her hand at archery.

The duchess missed her first shot but after getting some tips from the children, she hit the target on her second attempt.

Meanwhile, William’s balance was tested as he walked across a low-ropes assault course.

Some of the children urged him on until he made it to the end and celebrated with a cheer.

Kate and William then went head-to-head in a canoeing race on Lough Erne.

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William attempted an obstacle course, cheered on by children (Niall Carson/PA)

They were part of two teams which raced each other in Canadian canoes.

William’s team was crowned the winner after reaching the marker a few seconds ahead of Kate’s team.

The duchess congratulated her opposing team before returning to dry land.

The children at Roscor are given the opportunity to enjoy more than 50 water and land-based activities in a setting which offers life-changing psychological and social care interventions by the charity’s staff.

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The duchess was on target at the second attempt (Niall Carson/PA)

The duke met a number of young people who have previously been supported by the Extern charity and are still in touch with Roscor.

The royal couple heard how the facility helps support the children to build much-needed resilience and self-confidence around issues in their lives.

Before the couple left the youth facility, they were presented with a bowl that was painted by some of the children.

They also signed their names on two tiles that will be placed on a wall outside the building.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The royal visitors signed two tiles which will be placed on a wall at the youth facility (Niall Carson/PA)

The couple posed with all the children and a number of staff from Roscor Youth Village for a photograph before leaving to the sounds of everyone cheering.

Mr Mack said: “We are tremendously honoured to have the duke and duchess visit Extern to learn more about the life-changing work which goes on at our Roscor Youth Village.

“Childhood should be a safe, happy and precious time but unfortunately, when things go wrong at home, it is often the children who feel the brunt.

“Extern applauds the work the royal highnesses are undertaking to raise awareness about the many challenges which children face today.”

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