First Play Street in Otago helps connect neighbours

Sport Waitaki and Waitaki Neighbourhood Support hosted their first Play Street on Dacre St last...
Sport Waitaki and Waitaki Neighbourhood Support hosted their first Play Street on Dacre St last month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Playing in the streets with your neighbours is a pastime that was thought to be lost in the year 2023, but Sport Waitaki is bringing it back.

Oamaru hosted the first Play Street in Otago last month.

It is an initiative by Sport New Zealand and was hosted by Sport Waitaki and Waitaki Neighbourhood Support on Dacre St.

An array of fun games and activities was on offer to the 33 children who took part.

The goal of the event was to connect neighbours and get them outside having some fun, Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Pip Sutton said.

"It was just fantastic to see everyone out there interacting, mix and mingling and using play and equipment to bring them all together."

They had restricted traffic on the street to residents’ vehicles only to make the event safer to hold.

The event attracted a wide range of people, she said.

"We had the really shy kids as well as the really loud and energetic ones."

Ms Sutton said there were children, parents and grandparents "all joining in for some fun on the street."

She hoped Play Street could help build relationships between neighbours that may not have been there initially.

"It’s a really important relationship and with time being so precious, people forget about their neighbours.

"They’re the ones that are going to be there if there’s a fire or something happening. They’re the ones that actually can help you out and support you."

Ms Sutton would love to see more Play Street events held in the future.

If anyone thinks their street would be suitable, they should get in contact with her through Sport Waitaki.

She wanted to thank Christine Dorsey at Neighbourhood Support for her work to have the event run so smoothly.