Prince Harry has been in Wigan today visiting community sports projects.
His Royal Highness called off at Cast North West in Newburgh this morning before heading across town to the Three Sisters racetrack to talk to young people involved in the Blair Project.
It is part of the Prince’s programme of supporting projects that promote sport as a means for social development.
Cast North West uses angling as a way to engage with young people identified as at risk of falling out of education, training or employment.
He took a tour of the facilities and was visibly impressed by the young people’s enthusiasm and what the centre had to offer.
Founder Neil Farnworth showed off the indoor and outdoor angling ponds as well as the education suite.
It was really enjoyable. He makes you feel so relaxed and that’s the important part of being a RoyalNeil Farnworth, Cast North West
The Prince also had a bash at fishing himself before being shown where members create plant pots, flower beds and hanging baskets which are then sold on in Cast North West’s own garden centre, with all proceeds going back into the charity.
After the visit, Neil said: “It was really enjoyable. He makes you feel so relaxed and that’s the important part of being a Royal.
“You can open up and you don’t feel you’re under pressure in any way. He was so impressed that he’s going back to tell his Dad to try and get him down!
“Obviously angling is an excellent tool to build up relationships and to build confidence. They take part in work-based stuff which gives them the confidence to go into the big wide world and hopefully get employment.
“We are a big family here, we all come here and enjoy it but we all get something out of it too.
“That could be from learning new skills to developing our education in a different way. You become part of something rather than being an isolated person.”
After spending around an hour at the centre and planting a tree there, he headed down the M6 to The Blair Project, which creates exciting motorsport projects that can enthuse and inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and digital industries.
The enterprise is currently backing the Proto GP Schools Kart Challenge which will see children with special educational needs and disabilities come together at the Three Sisters Racing Circuit as they become the first in the country to race their own computer designed race karts using new 3D printing and digital manufacturing technologies.
Whilst there, he met the school pupils involved in the pilot project and heard how they plan to use their newly-found skills before watching them test their karts on the track. Sported have also supported The Blair Project which plans to roll out Proto GP in other schools in Wigan and the North West later in the year.
The Prince will later visit a third location which hasn’t yet been revealed.