Inclusivity’s behind a new playground feature at Queenstown’s Shotover Primary — a project led by two of the school’s students.

Year 8 students Olivia Hancox, 12, pictured right, and Emersyn Wheeler, 13, left, came up with the idea for an accessible swing, and moved mountains to raise money for its installation.

For Emersyn, it’s personal.

Her younger cousin has a disability, making it harder for him to join in at the playground.

‘‘It’s really important for everyone to feel included,’’ she says.

Realising play equipment comes with a hefty cost, she and Olivia decided to organise a fundraiser, by way of a community duathlon last

With support from GJ Gardner Homes, Queenstown Electric, Shuffle Hub, Freeman Roofing, High Performance Academy, Love 2 Plumb, Otago Foundation, B & B Interiors, Alpine Escapes and Flooring Xtra, a total of $19,000 was raised.

Extra support came from Community Trust South and the Ministry of Education, enabling the swing to be installed in the school’s playground over the summer holidays.

The new set includes a blue strap-in and basket-style swing,which makes accessibility easy for all, including those with wheelchairs, and a standard swing.

Principal Ben Witheford says he’s extremely proud of the girls’ efforts, crediting their work by awarding them at a full-school assembly.

Witheford says the demand for the swing’s so great ‘‘there are lines of students during lunchtimes, which we have a teacher managing’’.

Students with physical limitations are also enjoying the swing, with the help of their teacher aides, during class time.

Emersyn and Olivia say it feels great to be able to see so many students enjoying what they worked so hard for.

Local MP Joseph Mooney recognised the efforts of the pair, attending an official opening ceremony at the school last week, where the two girls were rewarded more for their outstanding work.

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