Girl with Down's syndrome, 8, 'in floods of tears' after trampoline park refuses to let her play without doctor’s note

13 August 2019, 15:51 | Updated: 13 August 2019, 16:01

A girl with Down's syndrome was turned away from a trampoline park
A girl with Down's syndrome was turned away from a trampoline park. Picture: Getty Images/Flip Out
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

A trampoline park has been forced to defend itself after refusing to let an eight-year-old girl with Down's syndrome play without a doctor’s note.

The parents of an eight-year-old girl have spoken out after their daughter - who has Down's syndrome - was rejected from a trampoline park because she didn't have a doctor's note.

Poppy-Mae Sawbridge was taken to Flip Out in Leicester with her sisters Lilly-Star and Summer-Rae by parents Lewis and Rebecca for a fun day out.

But she was left in floods of tears after staff told her that new rules meant she couldn't join in without a GP's letter giving her the OK.

Unfortunately, the Sawbridges had no idea about the changes and were stunned when they were turned away from the club.

The girl's dad Lewis told Leicestershire Live: "My daughter left there crying her eyes out.

"We've never heard anything like this before.”

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He added: "It wasn't advertised in the building; they just handed my wife a laminated piece of paper that apparently explained the rules."

Flip Out's website states that customers with Down's syndrome must have "approval for participation signed by a GP or paediatrician” which follow the guidelines set out by the British Gymnastics Association.

Flip Out's website states customers with Downs Syndrome must bring a note from their doctor
Flip Out's website states customers with Downs Syndrome must bring a note from their doctor. Picture: Flip Out

It also includes a list of other conditions which "could result in injury to yourself or cause damage to your health", including "disproportionate Dwarfism, recent surgery, high blood pressure, pregnancy or excessive weight."

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Leicester franchisee Aftab Patel defended the decision, saying: "We want to make sure it's safe for everyone - I wouldn't sleep if something had gone wrong.

"I understand that they were upset; I would be too.

"I know she has been before and thankfully nothing has gone wrong but we want to keep it that way."

A spokesperson for the Flip Out company added: “First of all I would like to apologise on behalf of Flip Out for the misunderstanding involving the family concerned and any embarrassment caused.

“We pride ourselves on being a fully inclusive company and try very hard to cater for everyone.

“As a business we take health and safety very seriously and our company policy follows the advice given from the website and the British Gymnastics Association which strongly recommends screening before any trampolining activities for people with Down's syndrome.

"These conditions are made very clear on our website and at reception where there is a 'before You bounce' sign.

"Upon production of a GP's letter we would be happy to welcome back the family as our guests."