Success! Kids from Homerton Adventure Playground beat stiff competition at annual London-wide go kart contest
- Credit: Play London
Budding engineers from Homerton Adventure Playground took home the bronze medal in a go-kart grand prix – as well as a title for the best-decked-out vehicle.
Youngsters from adventure playgrounds across London turned out at Mudchute Farm on the Isle of Dogs for the race, which also taught them basic engineering, aerodynamics and teamwork as well as how to have a fun day.
But the adventure playground movement is facing many places being closed down through lack of local council funding.
“It’s a short-sighted attempt to save money,” London Play charity’s deputy director Fiona Sutherland told the Gazette’s sister paper the East London Advertiser.
“Children are paying the price in lost opportunities. They have been learning to create a moving, working machine at this event, with experiences they have at adventure playgrounds in some of the most disadvantaged areas of London where they are unlikely to get such opportunities elsewhere.”
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Homerton Adventure Playground’s team was called Lamborghini – “because we are going to win,” according to nine-year-old team member Genesis.
“We took a long time to make our kart and took pride in it,” he said. “We worked really well as a team, especially with the nails. And Stanley was really good sawing.”
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The other two Hackney teams were from Hackney Marsh and Shakespeare Walk adventure playgrounds. Unfortunately, both their creations got involved in a multi-kart pileup during the second heat.
The annual race was waved off by Leonora Surtees, daughter of the late motorsport legend John Surtees, who said afterwards: “My father spoke passionately about kids from different backgrounds getting involved, these budding young engineers and designers being inspired to do something productive.”
First across the finishing line was Lambeth’s Triangle Tornadoes in their gold-wheeled paredback kart, with Acacia from Merton second. The Tornadoes celebrated by spraying sparkling grapejuice from the winners’ podium.