A WORKER at The Children’s Centre has competed his month-long campaign, which saw him taking a different means of self- propelled transport every workday in March.
Chris Gregory, a playwork development officer, was raising awareness of safer routes for children to access their playspaces as well as promoting children’s outdoor play.
March2Work saw Chris travelling the 3km from his home in Elm Drive, Onchan, to The Children’s Centre, in Woodbourne Road, Douglas, by a range of methods, from hula hooping to stilt walking.
Chris said: ‘The response has been very positive and most people that I have encountered think it’s fantastic that someone is standing up for children’s right to play.
‘The campaign also had a wide following in the UK, America, Australia and South Africa. I think it caught people’s imagination by tapping into their playful side.’
He said there were a few contenders for the toughest method of transport: ‘The spacehopper was a pretty tough way to start the campaign and left me aching for days afterwards, and the pogostick proved to be more than exhausting.
‘The stilt walking was physically tough because of the weight of the stilts and I would compare that experience to repeated bicep curls with a hefty toddler on each arm – not an easy feat with boy arms like mine.
‘My arch-nemesis of roller-skating proved that my skills have not improved over the past 15-plus years, and certainly travelling by wheelchair on some appalling surfaces was also very problematic and raises questions about accessibility for all abilities.’
Meanwhile, he enjoyed playing follow the leader, singing with his friends, and being piggybacked, and his favourite was going to work on a hobby horse, with his friend Chris King accompanying him with horse trotting sound effects made from two halves of a coconut.
Chris also raised about £500 for the charity’s play department.
Due to the interest of March2Work, next year the charity hopes to dedicate a day to it and encourage supporters of children’s outdoor play in the island and beyond to raise its profile.
View the compilation video of March2Work at www.iomplay.com.