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Pupils in opening ceremony get trainer ‘guidance’
CHILDREN taking part in the Olympic opening ceremony have been told they shouldn’t wear branded trainers unless they are made by Adidas.
Organisers told the eight Oxfordshire primary school pupils they should wear the German sports label – which sponsors the Games – or unbranded shoes to the Friday, July 27 show.
The eight 10-year-olds from John Hampden Primary School in Thame will be among 2,000 from across the country taking part in the London ceremony.
Yesterday, the school said the guidance would not spoil the event.
But Lucie Copcutt, who has two children at the school, said: “If they are told what to wear, it spoils the occasion.”
The 36-year-old from Thame added: “They should be allowed to wear what they want as long as they look smart because not every parent can afford to buy Adidas shoes.”
A pair of children’s trainers at adidas.co.uk cost at least £20.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said it gave participants practical guidance on clothing.
Spokesman Sutveer Kaur said: “We’ve advised comfortable, unbranded or Adidas shoes.”
And when asked what would happen if children turned up wearing the wrong shoes she said: “Nothing. This was just guidance.”
Green city councillor Elise Benjamin, who is a former Lord Mayor of Oxford, protested about the large amount of Coca-Cola advertising on Cowley Road when the Olympic Torch passed through Oxford last week.
She said: “I think it’s excessive when kids are being told what trainers they should wear.
“This could put some families in the unwelcome position of needing to buy new trainers at short notice.”
Emma Cuthbertson, a teacher at Madley Brook Primary School in Witney, carried the Olympic Torch along Cowley Road in Oxford.
The 28-year-old said: “I think this sounds completely over the top and it could be a big ask for some parents to go out and buy new trainers.”
And Melinda Tilley, Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for schools, said: “It’s a shame. It’s a pity that they do that.
“Parents do not have that sort of money these days.”
The Thame school is part of the Get Set programme aimed at inspiring youngster through the Games.
The Year Five pupils will hold the flag for Honduras in the Guard of Honour ceremony.
The school has sponsored children in the central American country for about 20 years.
Headteacher Alan Haigh said the rule was not an issue for the school.
He said: “It would be a shame to let something of that nature spoil the spirit of the Games when they have come here and we have the opportunity for children to be part of something that will be a fabulous event.”
He said the children could wear their black school shoes or PE plimsolls.
He added: “I hope it does not create any difficulties for the children.”
WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T TAKE
Banned Olympic Stadium items include:
- All drinks greater than 100ml
- Excessive amounts of food
- Any objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification intended for ‘ambush marketing’
- Flags of countries not participating
- Flags bigger than 1m x 2m, banners and poles
- Oversized hats
- More than one soft-sided bag of 25 litre capacity
- Tents, placards, spray paint or any other item which could be used to demonstrate or sabotage property
- Controlled drugs, or substances which look like controlled drugs
- Items that resemble prohibited items such as replica guns or hoax explosive devices
- Balls, rackets, frisbees
- Payments by anything other than cash or Visa
Items which are allowed:
- Service animals (eg guide dogs)
- The Sikh article of faith kirpan/ ceremonial dagger
- Up to 200ml of sun cream, but it must be in its original packaging
- Sterilised water for babies (up to one litre per child)
- Formula, breast milk or cow milk specifically for babies (up to one litre per baby)
- Baby food (up to one litre per baby)
- Branded clothing
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