fans at sporting events such as the Euro 2020 championship

Parents have expressed anger over being refused entry to school sports days while thousands of spectators are allowed in to major sporting events.

They have called guidelines keeping parents away “ridiculous” and “unfair,” pointing out the same people are at school gates daily to collect children.

One Pembrokeshire mother is planning a protest at the council over the issue.

The Welsh government said schools could let parents attend if they had the right risk assessments in place.

Charlotte Russell has two daughters, aged seven and four, at Johnston Primary in Haverfordwest, which is holding its sports day on Wednesday – her younger daughter’s first one.

The 38-year-old mother of three is so incensed by the fact she will miss it, she is planning to protest outside Pembrokeshire council’s offices on Tuesday.

Scenes of thousands of fans at sporting events such as the Euro 2020 championship and Wimbledon have added to her anger.

image captionSports days typically round off the summer term, but this will be the second year with no event or no parents present
She contacted the school and council to express her views, quoting ex-health secretary Matt Hancock saying elite football had special rules “because it brings people joy”.

However she wrote: “What brings me joy is seeing my children happy, healthy and thriving in school. What brings my children joy is seeing me watching them with pride. This continued isolation is unfair and extremely damaging to their mental wellbeing.”

Charlotte told BBC Wales no parents were being allowed to attend sports day, but as she pointed out, they were “allowed to stand outside the gates with the same parents”.

The council told her the school was following guidelines, and also pointed to high case rates in Pembrokeshire.

“They are saying it’s not safe so why am I still at the school gates and why is the school open?” she asked.

Capacity crowd for British GP at Silverstone
Wembley to be allowed at least 60,000 fans
Capacity crowds for Wimbledon finals
She said the school and the parents had stuck to the rules imposed because of Covid and she believes sports days, which are run in class bubbles anyway, could be safely managed on the school’s large playing fields.

Pembrokeshire council said in a statement the school was operating within guidelines, but added: “Although parents are unable to attend this sports day, Johnston CP School is keen to assure them that they have been working very hard to enhance their children’s wellbeing since their return to the classroom by developing a wide outdoor programme in partnership with other organisations, enabling children to spend a large amount of time learning outdoors.”
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