OLYMPIC torchbearer Paul Zetter, aged 89, was joined by some of the youngest pupils of Wisborough Green Primary School for the official opening of its new children’s playground.
The project was led by the parish council who chose to give the village playground a major face-lift to mark both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic games and create a legacy for future generations.
The official opening came after 18 months of planning and on Friday parish councillors welcomed sponsors, villagers and children from the primary school and Climbing Bears playgroup.
Keith Charman, parish council chairman, said: “We are obviously delighted with our new playground and have been thrilled with the response from children. Being on the village green we needed to make sure the equipment was sympathetic to the rural environment, but yet appealing and entertaining. We have included equipment which will hopefully encourage children to play together and have provided some items suitable for less able children.
“This was a huge undertaking for the village and would not have been possible without the generous support from local sponsors and successful grant applications.
“We are extremely grateful to all those who have helped in some way.
“The playground has always been a popular meeting place for many in the local area, but was sadly beginning to feel its age. Although the old traditional slide and some other pieces of equipment remain, new additions have now made this an exciting place for the young people of Wisborough Green.”
In addition to some existing items, the playground now includes a new toddler climbing frame incorporating a small slide, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, a nest swing, see-saw and games picnic tables.
Safety surfacing has been increased and the area is now fully fenced.
Octogenarian Paul Zetter was one of the oldest torchbearers in the country when he carried the flame through Duncton earlier this year and until recently he lived in Wisborough Green.
An apt choice for the official opening of the playground, he established Sports Aid Foundation in 1976 which has helped many sports men and women over the years.
On Friday he was helped with the opening ceremony by two new pupils at the primary school, Emily Boyd and Charles Alexander, who untied a ribbon to let their school friends in to play for the first time.