GameTime Race-Themed Playground Brings High Octane Fun to Indiana Community
Columbus, Indiana—It isn’t the Indy 500, but children and families in Columbus, Indiana can now race to the new Tony Stewart Playground in the Mead Village neighborhood where Stewart was raised. A ribbon cutting ceremony held on May 8th officially opened the red and black racing-themed GameTime playground, and celebrated the collaboration of many organizations that worked to create a safe, quality play environment that is inviting to children and families of all abilities and brings a little piece of the motor speedway to the community.
The inclusive, race-inspired play system features exciting climbers and slides, an integrated shade structure decorated with Stewart’s No. 14 and checkered flag toppers that will have children racing down the ramps to the finish line. Accessible tile surfacing, swings, ramps and a Rock-N-Raft allow children of all abilities to play together in this one-of-a-kind play space brought to life by GameTime’s custom PlayWorx division and the Columbus Park Foundation’s Race2Play Initiative.
Race2Play began when the Park Foundation partnered with Columbus native and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart to provide opportunities for children of all abilities to play together in his former Mead Village neighborhood. GameTime representative Sinclair Recreation joined the project which led to the involvement of Carter Oosterhouse’s Carter’s Kids Foundation. The emphasis on healthy kids also brought another Hoosier celebrity, Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, on board as a champion for teaching kids about lifelong healthy habits. With the overwhelming support from the community, the initiative grew to include improvements on three additional playgrounds, as well as the development of programs to promote wellness and physical activity throughout the parks.
Stewart was on hand to officially open the Mead Village playground with an exciting race through the ribbon by local third grade students from St. Bartholomew School. HGTV’s Carter Oosterhouse, actress Amy Smart and Jared Fogle were also apart of the celebration.
The Tony Stewart Playground is a continuation of Sinclair Recreation’s collaboration with organizations that promote physical activity through play, and bring safe play environments to communities in need. Since 2009, Sinclair has participated in 18 GameTime playground builds with the Carter’s Kids Foundation and Lowe’s Rebuilding Together. “These builds have definitely made my job more fun,” says Diane Sinclair, President of Sinclair Recreation. “I get to design what these communities want and they are always so grateful.”
Although the playgrounds in Columbus have opened, The Race2Play initiative is just getting started. The Columbus Parks & Recreation Department will soon offer “Come Out & Play,” a free, supervised playground program that promotes healthy activities and snacks offered at the playground sites. Race2Play began with the simple goal of creating a safe play space at Mead Village Park, but has developed into a community initiative that will impact children and families at the playground and beyond. GameTime is proud to provide a play space that brings high octane fun to this forward thinking community.
About The Tony Stewart Foundation:
The mission of the Tony Stewart Foundation is to raise and donate funds to help care for critically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and to support other charitable organizations in the protection of various animal species.
About Carter’s Kids Foundation:
Carter's Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and promoting awareness of fitness and self-esteem for America's youth. The purpose is to increase the activity level of kids by building and developing community parks and playgrounds in their neighborhoods. The kids then have the opportunity to take an active part in building up their community by using, sharing, and caring for these public spaces.
About The Jared Foundation:
Established in 2004 by SUBWAY® restaurants spokesman Jared Fogle, the Jared Foundation educates children and parents about the importance of healthy nutrition and exercise. By sharing his weight challenges, which began when he was eight years old, Jared wants to inspire children and support their families, as well as motivate communities to become involved and take action to help children.
GameTime has been a pioneer in the commercial playground equipment industry since 1929 with a commitment to enriching childhood through play. GameTime combines the vast wealth of research and intellectual resources of our parent company PlayCore with an unmatched distribution network to lead the industry with innovative products, programs and play environments that inspire a child's imagination and promote health and wellness for future generations.