LOGO: Keep Kids Active in Lockdown

A children’s petition has been launched – featuring a handwritten letter from a 10-year-old schoolgirl – calling for an end to the ban on sport outside of school during the second national coronavirus lockdown.

Youngsters have been urged to add their name to an open letter by Hermione Pratt, from Worcester, in which she laid bare the toll the current restrictions had taken on her and others.

“Sport for children should never be stopped,” she wrote, describing how the banning of it meant youngsters were “bored at home not knowing what to do as they would usually be playing sport” and that “most of our day is spent by doing nothing or playing on electronics”.

Extolling the health benefits of sport, she continued: “Sport gives lots of children confidence but when they can’t play sport anymore they become shy and often get bullied. When their confidence drops they become lonely and sad. Children make thousands of happy memories playing sport but without sport the happy memories don’t happen.”

She added: “We think that sport is amazing, sport is part of a child’s life and by cancelling sport you are destroying many children’s hearts.”

Sports Briefing

Her mother, Victoria, is sports co-ordinator for the parent campaign group UsforThem, which launched the petition halfway through the current lockdown.

Backing The Telegraph’s ‘Keep Kids Active in Lockdown’ campaign, the mother of two said her daughter was a member of her local hockey, netball and athletics clubs and had dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

She also said her daughter’s school had been forced to cancel hockey matches and cross country meetings due to the restrictions on inter-school competition during lockdown.

The UsforThem petition, entitled ‘Children Must Be Allowed To Play!”, said: “For the second time this year our children are being forced to give up the sports they love.

“The physical, mental and developmental impacts this will have should not be underestimated.

“We believe children and young people playing sport should be exempt from any Covid-19 restrictions – it is damaging to their mental and physical health.

“We need to act now and make sure children who are bearing the brunt of the crisis are supported.”

You can view and sign the petition here