Dozens of children ran, climbed, jumped and laughed their way through a kilometre-long obstacle course at Rugby Park Stadium as part of the Mitre 10 Mega Invercargill Tough Kid Low Sensory Hour.
While playing and having fun on a giant obstacle course may seem like the stuff of childhood dreams, for children that took part in the Sport Southland-run Low Sensory Hour, it is an opportunity that may not be very common.
The Low Sensory Hour was designed for children not comfortable in large crowds or around loud noise to enjoy the obstacle course at their own pace, without the noise and activity that typically comes with having 1600 children at an event.
It was piloted last year and was such a success Sport Southland brought it back again.
Parent Clare Hutchinson the low sensory hour was a great way for her children to be able to take part in an event that they otherwise wouldn’t feel comfortable doing.
“It’s so nice for her to come along, it’s been awesome for her.”
Trudy Burdon said for her daughter it was a way to take part in an environment she felt safe and comfortable in.
“She finds it quite overwhelming to be in crowded places so the opportunity to have a go at something like the Mitre 10 Mega Invercargill Tough Kid Low Sensory session is really valuable and important to us. It’s really special that she can just have a go without all the crowds around.”
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said all children deserved to enjoy the benefits of being active.
“It’s important to recognise that not all children enjoy the same activities, or enjoy them in the same way. This Low Sensory Hour is a good example of creating an opportunity where children can feel more comfortable and enjoy this fantastic event in a way that works for them.”
The Mitre 10 Mega Invercargill Tough Kid starts tomorrow at 9.30am with schools from across the region tackling a purpose-built obstacle course at Rugby Park Stadium.
The Low Sensory Hour coincided with the 2019 International Day of Persons With Disabilities, which this year has the theme of Promoting The Participation of Persons With Disabilities and Their Leadership.