Play away

IT was more a Tour de Play than a Tour de France for cycling-mad Stevenage mayor Simon Speller. He is also the town s play champion and he joined in last week s National Playday celebrations in his own special way. The annual event celebrates a child s ri

IT was more a Tour de Play than a Tour de France for cycling-mad Stevenage mayor Simon Speller.

He is also the town's play champion and he joined in last week's National Playday celebrations in his own special way.

The annual event celebrates a child's right to play.

This year's theme highlighted that play is a natural part of children's lives, but modern society has eroded play opportunities for youngsters.


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To highlight National Playday, Cllr Speller decided to visit all the play centres and sites in Stevenage - on his bike. He also had a special play passport that was stamped at each centre he visited.

Playday, now in its 19th year, is the biggest annual play celebration in the UK, involving over 100,000 children each year.

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It is partly about giving children and families a great day out, but it also aims to get across some serious messages about play and children.

In a joint statement, Cllr Simon Speller and executive councillor for community and culture, Sue Myson, said: "Natural play is essential to a child's development. It is not only about having fun but it also helps children to learn valuable life skills and develop confidence, self-esteem and creativity."

l For more information about play opportunities in Stevenage, ring 01438 242389, textphone 01438 242555 or email: playschemes@stevenage.gov.uk

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