Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Pupils may get free Olympic seats

The London Mayor said school pupils could get free tickets at the 2012 games

Seats left empty at the 2012 Olympic Games could be offered free to London schoolchildren, the mayor has said.

Boris Johnson announced the plan as he was interviewed by young students for the BBC's School Report initiative.

"If you remember in Beijing some of the events were pretty empty and we want to avoid that," Mr Johnson said.

Under the plan London schoolchildren would be "on standby" and offered the chance to attend Olympic events if corporate guests were absent, he said.

As part of a School Report interview, the mayor was asked whether children would get free tickets to the 2012 Games.

'Really good event'

Mr Johnson said he wanted to avoid the situation at last year's Beijing Games, where there were rows of empty seats at some events despite the Games being officially sold out.

"One of the ways we're thinking of avoiding that is having a system whereby London kids in schools could be on standby," he said.

"So that if we basically know that we're going to have a really good event that for one reason or another the corporate people haven't turned up, then we say 'listen - get on down and come and see the final of the basketball,' or whatever it happens to be."

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has said Britain will work to keep empty seats at London 2012 to a minimum.

BBC News School Report helps students aged 11 to 14 develop their journalistic skills by making their own news reports.

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