Accessible swing lifts spirits

Pupil Ariana Percy (6) holds on to Latiya Haua Corkill-Smith (7) as they try out a new frisbee...
Pupil Ariana Percy (6) holds on to Latiya Haua Corkill-Smith (7) as they try out a new frisbee swing installed at Sacred Heart School. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
Playtime is an essential element of every child’s life.

And now it is more inclusive at Sacred Heart School.

A new frisbee swing will enable Latiya Haua Corkill-Smith, who is highly physically impaired, to join in play.

She has a number of challenges, including a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome as well as developmental delays.

Teacher Bronwyn Bradshaw said play was a huge part of the school and an integral part of the wellbeing of tamariki.

Principal Ellen Devaney said the aim was to ensure accessibility for everyone.

"In break times, before, during and after school, the playground is always busy with groups of children that provides a play opportunity for all."

Previously Latiya was not able to use other playground equipment, but now she would be able to enjoy play with and alongside her peers.

This had direct benefits not only for her and the school but also the wider community who frequently used the facilities.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony last week Ms Devaney provided some background to the installation of the swing, then the children of the school sang wiata before Father Aidan Cunningham gave a blessing. The ribbon was then cut by pupil Ariana Percy, Latiya’s cousin.

The swing was funded with the support of Sport New Zealand, Sport Otago, Tu Manawa Active Aotearoa, Alexander McMillan Trust and Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation.





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