At Variety we want to see kids of all ages and abilities play side by side. This is why we now have an Inclusive Play Team, made up by Kyrsten Greenwood and Kim Becherand. We had a chat with them to better understand their role.
1. Tell us something about yourself
I recently converted from a soccer mum to a soccer player and I love it! I’ve always loved playing sport and being part of a team and sharing a passionate goal. It’s not about winning, but about challenging yourself to learn, improve and be part of a community. Life is all about sharing experiences.
I love life and all that living a full life comes with. My perfect day starts with an hour on the yoga mat, or in the pool or on a walk with the dog and a quick coffee. The rest is time with my beautiful, special daughters, husband, family and friends. Being part of community in our street, our children’s school and our local area makes me feel connected to those I do not know well, but know I am experiencing life with. I am fortunate to have good health, freedom, safety and those that I love and love me… and I try to share a kind smile or a few words with at least one new person a day.
2. What is your role at Variety?
We’re shining a light on the importance of play in creating happy, healthy people in thriving communities. We’re educating, advocating and building playspaces for everyone to have these opportunities to play, connect, learn and grow.
Play is children’s work. It is the way they learn and grow. At Variety we believe every kid should have the opportunity to play and my job is to help communities create playspaces where all children and their families feel that they are welcome, that they belong and are empowered to be themselves, value others and grow and learn together.
3. How would you describe your job to a child?
I took my three kids to work one day to see a newly built Variety Livvi’s Place. They played their little hearts out for hours, with and without me, which doesn’t always happen as Cooper uses a wheelchair for mobility. At the end of it, they understood that Livvi’s Place was different to our local playground because Cooper had so many more opportunities to seek adventure independently. So they know mum is trying to make their play dreams come true for all kids, especially the ones who need extra help.
Best job ever – I ask kids to imagine their dream playspace, what would it have in it? What would they do there? Who would they play with? What would they play? Then I go find the best clever people who can build it and some money to pay for it and then we build it!
4. What sort of impact would you like to have?
To know no kid turns up at the playground and has to simply watch other kids play. To know all kids have the opportunity to be curious and exercise their minds and bodies in public playspaces wherever they live across Australia.
To raise the profile and awareness of the fundamental importance of play for children in their development as a whole person. Play has changed for children due to the way we live now – and it is having an impact on their lives and our world. To simply prioritise play and having fun in the decisions we make for our children and young people will bring about happy, healthy and confident children who will thrive in school and life.
5. At Variety we believe all kids deserve a fair go in life. What does fair go mean to you?
A fair go means looking after each other to create opportunities for all. Fair go doesn’t mean everyone should be given the exact same thing because some people might need more help than others to participate in the same opportunities in life. Let’s make sure everyone can smile and be happy in play.
The understanding that all people are connected and deep down we are all the same, we all seek the same things. A fair go is ensuring we have the best chance at the good things in life: a loving family, a safe home, good friends and great experiences, time to rest, time to laugh and play, to have value and purpose and every opportunity to learn and grow to our full potential.
If you’d like to learn more about Inclusive Play and Variety’s involvement, please check our Variety Livvi’s Place page.
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