A school playground designed and installed by a Chester-based firm has been given the thumbs up by Tranmere Rovers captain Steven Jennings.
The tough tackling midfielder gave a rousing team talk when he attended an official opening with Creative Play sales manager Jim Gambino at Our Lady and St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Birkenhead.
And he praised young members of the Good Samaritans who have worked hard to help fund the new £25,000 pirate ship playground for their early years pupils.
The new facility was designed, manufactured and installed by outdoor play experts Creative Play, based on Sealand Road in Chester, and also features a play tower from the company’s new Jigsaw range.
The family firm’s mission involved turning a “blank canvas” into a dream destination designed to challenge youngsters’ physical, motor and social skills.
Liverpool-born Steven Jennings thought the children’s new facility scored highly and praised the children for achieving their goal.
He said: “I’m delighted to be at the opening of Our Lady and St Edward’s new playground. It’s a fantastic facility which I’m sure will really benefit the children who use it.”
Jim Gambino from Creative Play said: “We met with the school back in June with a view to developing an early years play area and talked through some ideas about what kind of play features they wanted.
“What we came up with was a climbing structure, including a play tower from our new Jigsaw range, with a pirate ship feature to encourage imaginative role play and exploration.
“Once the designs were in place, the installation of the equipment took 14 days. It was great because we started with a blank canvas.”
Jim said around 10 people from Creative Play worked on the entire project from start to finish.
He added: “The wide range of play features encourages development, creativity, imagination, exploration and role play as well as physical movement skills.
“To us, every child matters and every child is different so we promote inclusion and make sure no child is left out.
“We appreciate some children are more active than others, and some prefer to express themselves differently through role play, so what we have created ticks all the boxes because there is a wide range of equipment and something for every child to enjoy.”
Jim, who has worked as a sales manager at Creative Play for more than four years, added: “This was a big development and a very good project to work on, it was great to get the school’s input and create exactly what they wanted.
“It’s lovely to hear that the children are enjoying it and that it’s making a difference to their learning. That’s what I do this job for.”
Developing children’s physical fitness and cognitive skills is an integral part of the design process at Creative Play, where a team of 100 staff see each development through from consultation, design and manufacture to installation and maintenance.
All of Creative Play’s equipment is designed and manufactured in Chester by the company’s in house teams, who use state of the art equipment and each specialise in timber, plastic or metal.