Olympics organisers backtrack on plans to make babies have own Games tickets

 

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The Independent Online

Mothers watching the Olympics say they are relieved they have been able to take their babies after organisers backtracked on plans to make them have their own tickets.

Parents had reacted angrily when they were told earlier in the year that their babies would not be welcome at the Games without having their own tickets, even if they were just babes in arms.

It would have meant that babies not even conceived at the time their parents had bought their tickets would not be allowed entry.

Melissa Askew, 33, said it would have been "horrible" if she had not been able to take her 10-month-old daughter Elizabeth.

She said: "The Olympics are all about unity and coming together. It would have been horrible to exclude babies just because their parents didn't know they needed tickets for them.

"If she hadn't been able to come then I wouldn't have been able to come as I wouldn't have anyone to watch her as she's too young."

The teacher, from Brentwood, Essex, also took her three-year-old son Ben to the Olympic Park.

She said: "It's really great to be here with the kids, this will go in his memory book, and they can say that they were at the Olympics, even if they don't remember it."

Faye Ley, 30, whose eight-month-old daughter Alexa was wearing a summer dress with a Union flag pattern on it, said she would have been upset if she had had to leave her at home.

The investment bank worker from Epping, Essex, said: "She won't remember but it might be the only time in her life that she actually gets to be at the Olympics. I felt it was important to bring her."

Julie Stanbridge's two-month-old daughter Beatrice was looking similarly patriotic in a white Team GB babygro with Future Olympian written across the back.

The 33-year-old from Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire, said: "I'm really pleased that I was able to bring her.

"I wouldn't have thought the Olympics would have been particularly inclusive and wouldn't have thought it particularly supportive or diverse, and everything that the opening ceremony talked about.

"The Olympics are meant to be all about fairness and equality so if you weren't allowed to bring your kids along it kind of stumps you."

Asked about the facilities for babies at the Olympic Park, she said: "They're great. The staff all recognise the fact we have a pram with us and have offered us the lift rather than the stairs and we've got really quick access everywhere."

PA

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