New playground: Tallowood School pupil Zac and Primary Club patron and former Sydney Roosters player Jimmy Smith make use of a hammock installed with the help of a grant from the organisation. Picture: Natalie Roberts
TALLOWOOD School had just one trampoline and one small area of equipment before The Primary Club of Australia came to play.
The Kellyville school, which has 98 students from kindergarten to year 12 with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities enrolled, received a grant of $58,480 from the organisation to install new play equipment.
Deputy principal Deb Swinton said the children had made use of the double slippery dip, hammock and spinner — a circular swing which responds to gravity and movement — in lessons and at lunchtimes.
"They might do circuits where they'll have a swing and go down the slippery dip," she said.
"We encourage a lot of physical activity for the children who can because a lot of them traditionally don't have access to formal sport.
"For the younger kids we have to teach them how to play and share, so they take turns on the equipment.
"The children with autism often play in a parallel way so we encourage them to have positive interactions with each other and the play equipment really helps."
Mrs Swinton said the children loved the play equipment.
"The hammock is very calming, so it's good for helping them manage their emotions and behaviour as well."
Primary Club charity development manager Geoff Verco said the organisation comprising former professional cricket and other sports players aimed to provide sporting and recreational facilities for people with a disability.
This can include hydrotherapy pools as well as general sporting equipment.
"We fit in where other funding sources dry up," Mr Verco said.