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A speech by Prince Harry at the Coach Core graduation ceremony, St James's Palace

Published 14 January 2015

I hope that wherever the future takes you, that you will continue to be role models and to inspire others through sport.

The Duke of Sussex

Thank you Robin,

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to congratulate the first cohort of coach core graduates.

When my brother, Catherine and I launched the Coach Core programme back in 2012, we had a vision of young people being inspired to become amazing sports coaches for their communities and beyond: Young people, who would in turn, inspire others to change their lives through sport.

Like many others, we had been profoundly moved by the excitement of the London Olympics - a celebration of sporting achievement. Of course, this level of excellence is only possible through an immense amount of hard work by the athletes, their coaches, mentors and all those who support them on their journey to greatness.

All those graduating today have also worked fantastically hard in getting to this point. Completing the Coach Core programme has, I know, not been easy but then trying to be the best you can be, isn’t easy. Having met a number of you over the past year or so, I have some understanding of the challenges you faced; William, Catherine and I have all been hugely impressed by the resilience and determination you have shown in overcoming these challenges.

Coach Core has given you new qualifications which I am delighted to see you are already putting to good use in your jobs.

For those of you who have stayed in education, the demanding year of apprenticeship will have been good preparation for college and university, for your degrees in sports science, and - perhaps more surprisingly - physics!

But what has struck me most when listening to your stories is the impact you are having as the next generation of coaches. The feedback on your talents as coaches has been excellent, both from your sports clubs but perhaps more importantly from those young people who are being coached by you.

Your commitment to the programme and resulting success has helped to prove the Coach Core programme is effective at generating life changing opportunities through sport. I am absolutely delighted that the same opportunity is now being enjoyed by a second cohort of apprentices in London and Glasgow. I hope that by 2016 we will see further programmes springing up in other parts of the UK, providing opportunities for more young people like you.

Like the Olympians I spoke of earlier, your achievements were made possible with the support of others. I would like to thank the Royal Foundation's delivery partners - Greenhouse Charity and Glasgow Life - and those such as the Hunter Foundation who shared in our vision.

I would also like to thank all those who played a part in your development over this past year, in particular the coaches with whom you trained and your mentors, some of whom are here today. It is also hugely important to mention the invaluable support of your friends and family after all, many of them were your first coaches and mentors!

Today's graduation marks a success for all those involved - graduates, coaches, mentors, friends, family and all those who have supported the programme so generously.

So, to the graduates - I hope that wherever the future takes you, that you will continue to be role models and to inspire others through sport.