Re-engaging students in play through high-quality premium playground equipment - Education Matters Magazine
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Re-engaging students in play through high-quality premium playground equipment

From a start-up eight years ago, to one of Australia’s premium manufacturers today, WillPlay has led the market with its playground designs.

With so many schools focused on sustainability, Nathan Lee, General Manager of the family-owned and operated WillPlay, says that the use of quality, sustainable materials in playgrounds shouldn’t come at an extra cost.

The Bundaberg-based company designs and manufactures playground and outdoor fitness equipment for use in schools, parks, hospitality and other commercial sectors.

Lee tells Educations Matters that  WillPlay’s differing factor is that not only does it do custom designs, but it is committed to offering only premium materials.

“We use aluminium, stainless steel and Australian-sourced recycled plastics. What other companies offer as an upgrade at an additional cost, we offer as a standard product off the shelf,” Lee explains.

Lee says the company takes pride in removing the worry out of new investments by offering complete turnkey solutions, tailored to meet customer’s specific site and budgetary requirements.

With a commitment to high-quality, environmentally friendly Australian-made products, WillPlay works hard to offers exceptional value, quality and after sales service.

“WillPlay can also custom design and build a system to suit any budget and make [a school’s] wildest ideas come to life. We offer a complete manufacture and installation service. We can project manage all aspects of your project from design through to construction and maintenance,” Lee highlights.

“We offer complete open space recreation solutions including equipment, shade, installation and softfall surfacing.”

WillPlay’s passionate teams have extensive experience in the design, development and manufacturing of playground and fitness equipment, designed specifically for the Australian market.

Using its in-house manufacturing facility, WillPlay are continuously developing new product designs and uses for materials to offer industry leading designs and play value.

“We have installed at least 1500 playgrounds around Australia. One of the biggest premium projects we designed and installed from scratch was in Western Australia which was an eight-metre tall, custom-designed light house,” says Lee.

“We have installed a lot of our Urban Warrior range, which is designed to engage students of all ages.

WillPlay’s Urban Warrior Range is inspired by obstacle courses, combining the best of play and fitness equipment. Manufactured from WillPlay’s premium materials including stainless steel, aluminium, recycled plastics and timber composites, the Urban Warrior Range is built to handle anything that students can throw at them.

“With an emphasis on activities that develop cardio-vascular fitness and improve core strength, the Urban Warrior range can help with a student’s overall fitness, strength, and posture,” says Lee

Lee notes that improved core strength and posture has been linked to higher concentration levels and improved educational outcomes in students of all ages. The system also encourages social engagement and can add an element of competitiveness.

“Following the rise in popularity of television shows promoting similar obstacle course activities, the Urban Warrior system really encourages activity,” Nathan says.

As an added benefit, WillPlay’s Urban Warrior range can be incorporated into a school’s Physical Education program. The structured flow of the course allows students to be benchmarked and compare their own results/improvements in fitness over a defined period of time.

With the increased emphasis on physical challenge and movement, this system encourages activity even among older students, as they start getting too old for traditional playgrounds.

“With these students no longer feeling the need to play, Urban Warrior encourages activity and social interaction beyond the play years,” Lee highlights.

The individual elements can be set as a closed circuit, or scattered around a larger area, creating a cross-country style training course.

Encouraging students to move between elements can improve cardio-vascular fitness and helps achieve the minimum daily movement that many students are missing out on in today’s world.

With momentum building around WillPlay’s playground and fitness designs, Lee is confident that the company will continue to grow and be Australia’s premium outdoor play and fitness brand.

“Despite some companies out there using digital technologies to entice students to get out and play, we have a strong focus on the more traditional way,” says Lee. “We want to get kids out there and engaging with themselves, friends and the equipment .”