Children barred from winning free Olympic shooting tickets
Boris Johnson’s strategy to reward London schoolchildren with 125,000 free tickets to the Olympics was under fire this evening after it emerged that none will be given for the shooting events.
Despite Olympic shooting events being amongst the safest sports of all, when measured in terms of accident and injury rates, Conservative politicians at the Greater London Authority apparently insist that there is a link between violent crime and a peaceful sport.
The Evening Standard speculates that Conservative GLA members feared that being seen to support the shooting sports would confuse the voting public. Mayor Johnson has been a vocal supporter of anti gun crime initiatives.
The Ticketshare scheme holds a number of tickets to Olympic events which will be reserved for young people, servicemen and their families and the disabled. Tickets will be given to people in these categories who would otherwise be unable to attend the Games.
Britain’s treatment of the shooting sports has been heavily criticised thanks to its draconian gun laws. The GB Olympic pistol team have to train in Switzerland because it is illegal for them to own their competition pistols in this country. Meanwhile, the Olympic shooting venue is being built at Woolwich Barracks at a cost of £42m – only for it to be demolished immediately afterwards. British Shooting heavily criticised the decision-making process which led to Woolwich being chosen as the venue, claiming that officials set out to deliberately avoid leaving a legacy for target shooting.
Editor’s note: this article will be updated when we receive an official statement from the GLA.
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