Parents of schoolboy killed in Snowdome incident call for new safety measures

The grieving parents of a schoolboy killed in a SnowDome incident have made a plea for safety changes at indoor snow sports venues.

Louis Watkiss supported Chelsea and England
Louis Watkiss supported Chelsea and England

Louis Watkiss, who attended Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield, died on September 24 after an incident during an activity at the SnowDome in Tamworth.

His parents Chris and Natalie have spoken of "a gentle soul and a kind and thoughtful child" - and MP Andrew Mitchell has vowed to take the family's campaign to Parliament before the new year.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Monday, Natalie spoke of the importance of 'leaving a legacy for Louis'.

She added: "We can't have this happen to any other child.

"We really feel strongly that all minors should wear helmets while doing any indoor ski activities. That has to be pushed forward in parliament for a change in law.

"This is just the beginning for us. The hardest thing we have had to hear is that our child has died and the hardest thing you have to carrying on doing then is living every day.

"The important thing is leaving a legacy for Louis because he was such a special boy."

Mr Mitchell said he hoped to raise the case in Parliament on December 16.

Louis also played saxophone - having reached grade 5

“This awful tragedy has moved all of us in the Royal Town and I send my deepest sympathy to Natalie and Chris and their family at this terrible time," he said.

"I salute their bravery and compassion in launching their campaign to ensure nothing like this happens again if humanly possible.

"As their MP I am in discussion with the Staffordshire Chief Constable and the head of the Health and Safety executive about their enquiries and conclusions and it does now appear that a strong case may exist for changing the law.

"Tamworth Snowdome is now making it compulsory for children to wear helmets.

"In Scotland that has been the practice since 2013 and in New Jersey USA it has been compulsory for those under 17 years old since 2011.

"Children are more vulnerable to brain damage from collision as their skulls are not fully protected and are still developing and strengthening .

"I shall be hoping to raise this very sad case in Parliament to draw the attention of my parliamentary colleagues to it so that we can reflect on what steps should be taken to fulfil Chris and Natalie’s brave campaign that nothing like this should if humanly possible be allowed to happen again."

Tamworth SnowDome has said they remain 'profoundly shocked and saddened' by Louis's death and are giving full-co-operation to the investigation being conducted by the authorities.

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