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Prince Harry plays sit-down volleyball on Nigeria visit with Meghan

Prince Harry plays sit-down volleyball on Nigeria visit with Meghan

Day two of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Nigeria visit began with a game of sitting volleyball.

In Abuja, the couple spent time with Nigeria Unconquered, which compiles the country’s Invictus Games team.

Harry and Meghan are to speak at a reception hosted by the Nigerian military’s chief of defence staff.

The duchess will later co-host a Women in Leadership event with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organization.

After arriving at the Armed Forces’ Officers Mess and being given scarves in the green and white colours of Nigeria, Harry and Meghan watched a game of sitting volleyball, before Harry was invited to play with the team.

The Duke participated in a few rounds of the game, which were played by ‘Team Harry’ and ‘Team CDS’ – referring to the military’s chief of defence staff who is behind the couple’s visit to Nigeria.

The other players were army veterans, most wounded in battle against the country’s Islamist insurgency.

On the duke’s team was former Nigerian soldier Peacemaker Azuegbulam, who lost his leg in combat against Boko Haram. He became the first African to win gold at the Invictus Games in Germany last year.

Harry playing sit-down volleyball

[BBC/Kyla Herrmannsen]

The Duke then joined in the team’s war cry before speaking with families and friends of the athletes.

Last year, Nigeria became the first African country to take part in the Invictus Games, a sporting competition for wounded military personnel and veterans, co-founded by Prince Harry in 2014.

On the first day of the mini-tour on Friday, Harry spoke about the joy the Nigeria team brought to the games in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The charity Nigeria Unconquered, which will put together Nigeria’s team for next year’s Invictus Games in Canada, helps wounded, sick and injured service personnel to “find new purpose” through sport.

On Saturday, Meghan was presented with a bouquet of roses by six-year-old Royalty Ojeh, daughter of the founder of Nigeria Unconquered, Bobby Ojeh. Touched by the gesture, the duchess offered Royalty one of the roses to keep.

Royalty Ojeh, the daughter of the founder of Nigeria Unconquered, Bobby Ojeh, holding a flowerRoyalty Ojeh, the daughter of the founder of Nigeria Unconquered, Bobby Ojeh, holding a flower

Royalty Ojeh, six, presented the Duchess of Sussex with flowers [BBC/Simi Jolaoso]

After the sit-down volleyball game, the duke and duchess attended a reception which included performances from drummers and traditional dancers as well as remarks from various officials.

Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairwoman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, shared her delight at the duchess’s Nigerian heritage, telling Meghan she was too beautiful not to have been Nigerian.

She presented Meghan and Harry with an outfit made of aso oke, a hand-woven cloth from south-west Nigeria.

In an address, Harry shared a story from his trip to a military rehabilitation centre in Kaduna on Friday, where he met 50 wounded service personnel who were in hospital.

“There were two of the 50 that were a little different,” he said. “They had smiles on faces. One of them was doing push-ups. I was intrigued.”

He added: “They knew their life wasn’t defined from the injuries of their past – that is what Invictus is all about and that is what your new centre will be about.”

The audience was shown a video of a 3D render of a “state-of-the-art” Invictus Centre authorities hope to build in Abuja soon.

Prince Harry addressing the military at a special receptionPrince Harry addressing the military at a special reception

Prince Harry addressing the military at a special reception [BBC/Kyla Herrmannsen]

Before arriving in Nigeria, Prince Harry visited London as part of celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, and attended a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Meanwhile, the King, whose cancer treatment is ongoing, met members of the public at a Buckingham Palace garden party a little over two miles away.

A spokesperson for the duke confirmed he would not see his father during his time in the UK due to the King’s “full programme” but that he “hopes to see him soon”.

Harry had last been in the UK in February to visit the King soon after he was diagnosed with cancer.

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