Variety swing brings joy to new users

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian

The liberty swing donated to the City 11 years ago has now been put to good use after it was donated and relocated to the Holland Street School.

The swing was donated by the City of Greater Geraldton and Variety Children’s Charity.

Holland Street School principal Nicola Riley said she noticed the swing, which can accommodate a child in a wheelchair, wasn’t getting much use in its former location. So she made a request.

“Driving past it every day at Maitland Park and also knowing that our community wasn’t accessing it made me think,” Mrs Riley said.

“I had been down to a few education support schools in Perth and saw that they had liberty swings donated by Variety in their school playgrounds so I thought, ‘why can’t we have one of those?’”

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was great to see the collaboration between the City, Geraldton Limestone, Variety and the school to make the transfer happen.

“It was a no-brainer to donate it, seeing such a magnificent piece of playground equipment being underused on City property with an opportunity to make it a well-used piece of equipment. It’s a fantastic opportunity,” Mr Van Styn said.

Mrs Riley said the response from parents had been overwhelming.

“They were ringing and saying they had heard and that it was so amazing and awesome because they didn’t go down to Maitland Park,” she said.

“They didn’t feel that was a nice environment there and they said the swing wasn’t getting used as it was hard to get into because you had to get the key.”

Hilton Cook was one of the first children to use the swing at the school and was also one those who used the swing 11 years ago at Maitland Park.

Another student who used the swing at its new location was Isma Irwandie.

Mrs Riley said of the 48 kids at their school, 11 were in wheelchairs so it was a great opportunity for them to be involved during outdoor activities.

“It’s an activity for our students in wheelchairs that they can actually be part of the sport in the morning now, watching what’s happening on the oval,” she said.

“It’s about developing their skills and just giving them that opportunity to have a go on the swing.”

“It’s really just incredible to have got it, we’re stoked. It just makes you want to cry,” she said.

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