Making water play accessible to everyone

Children playing in the new splash pad at Llyod Elsmore Park Pool Splashing about in the summer was that much easier these holidays thanks to Lloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre. The center rolled out a free wheelchair accessible splash pad at the end of 2017, just in time for every child to cool off in the scorching heat. From the pathways to the surfaces, to the equipment - there is fun to be had by everyone!

The splash pad at the East Auckland location was specifically designed to be accessible-friendly, enabling children and families of all ages and abilities to come together, get active and enjoy fun and safe water play.

The accessible journey starts at the entrance, with the splash pad being accessed through the accessible entrance of the leisure center. The surfaces of the pathway and splash pad are a mixture of concrete and rubber, making it easy for people in wheelchairs to maneuver around. Even the picnic tables are on artificial turf, which is also wheelchair-friendly.

Of course, since there is water involved, it goes without saying that there would also be waterproof equipment to make it a truly wheelchair accessible experience. As well as accessible bathrooms and changing rooms, they also have water wheelchairs, pool hoists in the leisure and lap pools, and ramp access to the learner’s pool.

Auckland Council's Head of Active Recreation says that the three months has seen a hugely positive response, with the hope that this will only increase with time.

"The reception to the new splash pad at the Lloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre has been really positive and since December there's been over 6000 visits. So far, the team has seen a variety of people with different access requirements enjoying the facility. We hope to see more people of all abilities come down to the splash pad in the future."