School gets play­ground funds

Taranaki Daily News - - News - KIRSTY MCMUR­RAY

"It's just nice we're go­ing to be able to do some­thing nice for the kids."

Per­rie Topia,

Prin­ci­pal

Kids at a Waitara school will be in for a treat when a shiny new play­ground re­places their di­lap­i­dated one.

Waitara East School ap­plied to the New Zealand Com­mu­nity Trust (NZCT) for fund­ing for a new play­ground and has been granted $30,000 to­wards it.

Prin­ci­pal Per­rie Topia said the school was thrilled by the grant.

‘‘It’s just nice we’re go­ing to be able to do some­thing nice for the kids.’’

He said the cur­rent play­ground was old and run down.

‘‘Our 21-year-old school play­ground has be­come un­safe for use due to time, sea spray and ex­ces­sive use.

‘‘It is in dire need of re­place­ment,’’

the school wrote in their ap­pli­ca­tion to the trust.

The old play­ground, which is also used out­side of school hours by the Waitara com­mu­nity, is the only play­ground on the eastern side of the Waitara River.

The decile two school was in a low so­cio-eco­nomic area and wasn’t in a po­si­tion to pay for a

new play­ground, the school said.

It hoped the new play­ground would give the kids ‘‘ac­cess to qual­ity play fa­cil­i­ties to help de­velop fine and gross mo­tor skills’’ and en­hance their learn­ing ‘‘through play, co-op­er­a­tive play, team build­ing and en­durance’’.

Topia, who only started at the school 10 weeks ago, said deputy prin­ci­pal Luke Mat­tock was the driv­ing force be­hind the school’s ap­pli­ca­tion to the trust.

The NZCT Re­gional Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended fund­ing the play­ground be­cause it was a low-decile school and other com­mu­nity mem­bers would also ben­e­fit from it.

‘‘At NZCT, our pas­sion is to help get peo­ple, es­pe­cially young peo­ple, in­volved in sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity,’’ a spokesper­son said.

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