Save our playing fields

Like many families, ours celebrated the Olympic games and tales of triumph over adversity that have resonated nationwide. A run in a school playing field or green open space gives Britain’s children the chance to get out there, making the gulf between them and the likes of Usain Bolt one of aspiration rather than fantasy.

But in this green and pleasant land, it has emerged that over a million children could lose the fields where they play and maybe take their first steps to future Olympic glory. Education Secretary, Michael Gove wants to relax the rules protecting school playing fields. Can he only hear the chink of coins in coffers, instead of the cries of many youngsters in today’s society.

Children whose only outlet is a school playing field where sport and dreams become one?

And their friends for whom a safe place to play outside is a precious respite from the hard knocks of life?

But hopes and dreams are not the only rewards. The freedom to run in a safe outdoor place affords children the chance to exercise and aids concentration.

Without the playing fields that are their heritage how can the children of today become Team GB of tomorrow?

If today’s Tory-led Government gets off Scot free with the theft of the nation’s playing fields, will the right for a child to play sports depend on their parent’s ability to pay?

I am totally opposed to even the idea of selling off our school playing fields and hope that Tory Erewash Borough Council will tell Michael Gove that future Olympians can come from Ilkeston and Long Eaton as well as Eton College! We must unite to protect playing Fields for all our children whatever their start in life!

The true legacy of the 2012 Olympics should be the gold standard of glory, hope and triumph; not privilege for the few and deprivation for the many! To save our playing fields and teach Michael Gove a lesson for life, sign the petition here:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/playing-fields.

Cllr Linda McGraw

Erewash Labour