PLAY ​​​​


​​​​​​​Hi! Welcome to the play page, my name is Georgia Clarke, and I am the Play Lead at Sport Otago.

Play is all about giving our tamariki the time, space and permission to actively follow their own ideas and interests for their own reasons. It is the earliest physical experiences for our tamariki, and it is where they develop and practice life skills. Play allows children to experience fun, joy and laughter in a way that is important to them and that they enjoy.

Play for our tamariki can be so engaging and so simple, it doesn’t always have to be out of your way or a game the family must play. It can be as simple as stopping at a park on the way home from school, sending the kids out to play in the backyard or garden before dinner time.

There are many opportunities and different ways we can encourage and enhance play in our community. Play initiatives such as Play Streets, loose parts play and hiring of equipment can be great ways to encourage play. If you want to learn more about play, and how we can work together, give me a call or an email and we can set something up. Have a look at the link below to see what has been going on in the play space across the country, including a piece from a local Dunedin school!

The Neighbourhood Play System is an exciting approach to urban play design that places the key stakeholder – tamariki – at the centre of the process. The Neighbourhood Play System provides a blueprint to identify and address opportunities and barriers for tamariki to play in their school and neighbourhood.

Linking to local plans and funding opportunities, the Neighbourhood Play System blueprint looks at how to embed play elements through school grounds, footpaths, streets, alleyways, greenspaces, waterways, industrial zones, mare, churches and shops – to promote play every day.

Have a read of the report of North East Valley Normal School, based in North Dunedin. 

north-east-valley-normal-school-2_4.pdf (

Georgia Clarke

Play Lead

Ph: 027 695 8002

Email: ​​​​​​​

At Sport Otago we have a range of equipment to hire out from our Play Box and a super cool travelling loose parts play trailer called Loosey! Loosey is a trailer that can be booked by any school, community group or organisation, picked up and taken to your community for use! Our tamariki love Loosey, and we are always having it travelling across Otago.  ​​​​​​​

If you have a great idea in mind for your community to do with activating our tamariki through play, have a look at the Tu Manawa fund. This fund exists to help deliver and provide support for our youth who want to be active! Sport New Zealand are targeting Māori, Pasifika, and children with disabilities, but projects to activate all inactive and under-active youth can be considered.

Kia ora, this page is where you can find more out about our Local Play Network.

We release a newsletter quarterly throughout the year with information on what has been happening in the play space at Sport Otago and across Dunedin/Otago. It features upcoming events, news and a spotlight on our network members. The network has future plans of meeting in person as well. 

If you would like to join the network or be on the mailing list, please get in contact with Georgia Clarke, Play Lead at