Prince Charles met some of New Zealand’s top athletes and an enthusiastic crowd at AUT Millennium on Monday 12 November. Elbows and shoulders were being used by some to catch a glimpse of the future King of New Zealand and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Their Royal Highnesses were at AUT Millennium as part of a five day New Zealand tour.
A delighted crowd was waiting for his arrival at 10am and were abuzz when he walked through the doors just after 10.20am. The Prince took time to shake hands with almost everyone in the crowd before entering the public pool accompanied by 30 staff, security and media.
Escorted by AUT Millennium CEO and president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Mike Stanley, the couple met double Olympic champion Danyon Loader and canoeing Olympic gold medalist Lisa Carrington. Carrington, who trains at AUT Millennium, was in fits of laughter as the Prince chatted with her.
AUT SPRINZ lab tour
He then spent some time with young kayakers who had lined up at the side of the pool before proceeding to AUT Sports Performance Research Institute clinics.
Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed into the leading sports science facility in New Zealand by AUT Head of Sport and Recreation Dr Henry Duncan and newly appointed SPRINZ director Professor Patria Hume.
Associate Professor Andrew Kilding showed the Prince around the Endurance Physiology Clinic. He explained how it can be used by high performance and non-elite athletes.
Professor Mike McGuigan, who helps train shot putter Val Adams, was on hand to tell the Royal couple about the Strength and Conditioning Clinic. Postgraduate student Sarah Manson demonstrated the equipment she used to assist the Football Ferns in their preparation for the London Olympics.
The final part of the SPRINZ clinic tour was a demonstration of the Cycling and Running Mechanics Clinic with a presentation from Professor Hume. This objective of this clinic is to improve the mechanics of cyclists and runners to get performance gains and reduce the chance of injury.
New Zealand's top athletes meet the Royals
The Royals then made their way downstairs to the High Performance Sport New Zealand training and recovery area where they talked to director and former AUT student Dr Matt Kritz. There they met more Olympians, the Silver Ferns and the entire New Zealand Warriors rugby league team.
Out on the athletics track they watched Olympian Sarah Cowley run over some hurdles and chatted with world record hold shot putter Jacko Gill.
After meeting students from Glenfield Intermediate, the Royal couple waved to the crowd before leaving in their motorcade for the city centre.