Playground safety, interesting concept

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

Recently, this writer had the opportunity to speak with Shay Vickery about her committee to get a new playground at McKenzie School.

This is a great idea and after looking at some of the items that these people are planning on purchasing, all I can say is that playgrounds have come along way.

Now, all the playground equipment has to meet different levels of safety regulations and according to Vickery: "We have to buy commercial quality equipment if we want it to last."

That makes sense everything is based on safety now.

Think about how things are now compared to back in the early 80's when I was the king of the playground in the booming metropolis of Alex City.

Think about it, back in the day when this writer would make the road trip to the local park, safety was the last thing on our minds. We had swing sets that basically had the person doing the swinging gliding over gravel or rocks with dirt in them.

Then, after leaping off that and falling way short of the intended landing, sometimes not in a vertical position, we would get up and go to the monkey bars.

The monkey bars were used for gymnastic purposes. Everybody could go hand over hand, from one side to the other, but that was boring way, it didn't count unless you did it upside down with all the change falling out. Or even better, after you flipped off the monkey bars, you could head to the jungle gym and climb all the way to the top knowing that the only thing that was waiting for you at the bottom if you were to fall was a nice soft, cement slab. But, those were playgrounds of the past, not the present.

Vickery said, "There are specific codes that have to be met. The facts are that playground equipment is expensive and although we are a resourceful community, we have to reach out for help funding.

You know, looking back, at some of the playgrounds this writer graced in his childhood, it's a wonder that I made it this far.

It's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the Sports Editor of the Greenville Advocate. He can be reached by phone at 382-3111.