Sparwood Secondary School (SSS) is a few thousand dollars closer to having a brand-new Ninja Fitness playground installed, with another grant of $3,000 recently secured from the District of Sparwood.
There’s a way to go yet though, the playground project cost is way up at $143,000, and so far the school has raised $45,000.
Penny Lowe, who is a physical education teacher at SSS said that teenagers will be teenagers, and they need a way to burn off energy before and after school and during lunch.
“Whatever’s available to them, they’ll play on it,” she said. “A mud-bank, swinging on a tree.”
Lowe, who is tasked with seeking grants for the project said that currently, SSS has no playground facilities for kids there, but that was fairly normal.
“It’s typical of all high-schools to have no playgrounds,” she said.
There was play equipment at the neighbouring elementary school, but given the age difference students from SSS weren’t allowed to play on them during lunch hours.
Lowe said that in her many years working with teenagers, they gravitated towards play equipment so it made a lot of sense to install equipment at the school.
“No matter where we go (on field trips), if there’s a playground, they play on it.”
The playground they hope to install at SSS is called a ‘Ninja Fitness’ playground, ideal for teenagers and made of tougher stuff so it lasts longer.
“It does need to stand the test of time – teenagers are really hard on stuff,” she said.
The playground as envisioned will be chock full of things for students to climb and swing from, burning off energy and keeping them active. It will also be open to the community after school hours.
So far, SSS has grants and donations from Teck ($10k), the Elk Valley Thrift Shop ($10k), Columbia Basin Trust ($10k), Fortis BC ($10k), Seaborn Transport ($2k), and now the District of Sparwood ($3k).
“(The donations) are absolutely wonderful – it’s well appreciated.”
Fundraising has been ongoing for over a year, with support from the District of Sparwood along with provincial and federal politicians for the area.
Those interested in learning more about the project, or how to donate can contact Lowe at email@example.com, or call her at the school at 250-425-6666.
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