Transporting play to those in need

PLAY FOR ALL: From left, back, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, past District Governor Jane Owens. Front, Rotary Club of Whyalla Secretary Leanne Herd and President Elect Brian Herd at the Loring Street Reserve playground.
PLAY FOR ALL: From left, back, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, past District Governor Jane Owens. Front, Rotary Club of Whyalla Secretary Leanne Herd and President Elect Brian Herd at the Loring Street Reserve playground.

An international project which involves deconstructing old playgrounds to be sent overseas has grown roots in Whyalla, with the potential to be an ongoing initative.

Rotary Overseas Relocated Playgrounds SA sees out of date playgrounds which would otherwise be sent to landfill disassembled then transported to developing countries where they can be enjoyed by local children.

The Rotary Club of Whyalla began the process last week with the support of the Whyalla City Council, and have since "harvested" two local playgrounds.

President Elect Brian Herd explained the process of taking the playgrounds apart.

"Firstly we code them so someone at the other end can put the bits back together by matching the joints. It's then dismantled, we take all of the bolts out and everything above ground is moved away," he said.

"Then we have a very friendly contractor who carefully removes all the poles from the ground, we knock the concrete off and clean it up then arrange transport."

Around 12 Rotary volunteers participated in the process of removing the Taylor Street Reserve playground, which is one of the largest playgrounds in Whyalla.

"The whole playground as it's lifted from Whyalla is put down wherever the final destination is - we keep playgrounds together, we don't mix and match them," Mr Herd said.

"If we damage a part coming out we can ge the spare parts from elsewhere."

Council has flagged a further 27 playgrounds in Whyalla to be harvested in the next 10 years, with Rotary keen to undertake the process for each of them.

"It's such a feel good moment when you get to do something like this, it's a huge thing but because Rotary is such a widespread organisation all the bits come together to make the individual's life quite easy," Mr Herd said.

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said the program was a great idea and was warmly welcomed by the council, which has also recently put funding towards upgrading local playgrounds.