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Jumpstart brings Inclusive Playground Project to Calgary

It’s been a favourite space to play for kids and now it’s a little more accessible for everyone.

Hundreds of kids seized the chance to break in a new universally accessible playground at its official opening in Shouldice Park on Wednesday.

The new 15,000 square foot space is made of softer materials and specially designed equipment. From padded slides to swings with extra space, the park has something for everyone.

It was especially a fun day for 5-year-old Max Leo. “It’s perfect,” beamed Max. “You can tell everyone is having fun because they’re all smiling.”

Other children, including Matti who was with his caregiver Erica Brooks, finally got the chance to experience a playground alongside other children.

Brooks says it’s amazing to see so many kids of all abilities enjoying the same space. “The ability to go up and down on all the pieces of equipment and to be able to touch and use just about everything, you don’t get to do that at a lot of parks in the city.”

The space is a partnership between the City of Calgary and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.

Jumpstart Ambassador Stephanie Dixon is a Paralympian and 19-time medallist for Canada as a swimmer. She wasn’t sure what the project would look like but was amazed to see the final result.

“It brings a tear to my eye,” said Dixon. “To see kids of all different body types, all different abilities playing together all of equal value, it’s something that I really could’ve used as a child.”

The new playground in Shouldice Park was funded through Canadian Tire’s ‘Play Finds A Way’ initiative;  a five-year, $50 million fundraising commitment for accessible playgrounds and infrastructure programming.

Learn more about Jumpstart’s Inclusive Play Project.