Swing is a game changer

2015-10-20 06:00
Bryan Strauss, a pupil at Vista Nova School, rides on the wheelchair swing installed at the school.

Bryan Strauss, a pupil at Vista Nova School, rides on the wheelchair swing installed at the school.

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Friends of the Vista Nova School in Rondebosch are delighted to have a wheelchair swing for the disabled pupils.

The school is the first government school in Cape Town to have a wheelchair swing for disabled children.

Vista Nova is a public special school for 400 children who have learning barriers.

Sandi Wells of the Friends of Vista Nova says it broke her heart to see children in wheelchairs looking with admiration at the children using the swings.

“I decided to do something. I had to look for people who could make the swing meet the needs of the kids in wheelchairs. I kept looking until I found one in Somerset East. When I spoke to them I felt as if a dark cloud that was hanging over me was removed,” she says.

The wheelchair swing has been at the school for about three weeks.

Johan Cillie, a mechanical engineer from Easy Drive, designed it. It was installed by Koos Marais, an associate of Easy Drive, after they had done safety measures to ensure the children would not slide out.

Wells says the swing has brightened the children’s faces.

“It’s so heart-warming to see everyone play together at break time. Those who can walk will push those on the swing, close the ramp and play together. It’s very nice because we are all about being inclusive and this wheelchair swing has brought it for us and e are very grateful to all the people who made it happen,” she says.

“They play together and they help each other on the swings. When the physiotherapists come, most of the job is done because the kids are cheerful and happy. It’s fantastic and so amazing to see that none of the kids are left out. The way they help each other is unbelievable and we are grateful that we finally have what we wanted,” she says.

They now wish to get a disabled playground with a merry-go-round and see-saw. V

Those who want to donate to the Friends of Vista Nova can call them on 021 689 4700

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