2018 Adventure Playground of the Year


Triangle triumph in 2018 London Adventure Play Awards


Pyrotechnics, stunts and mayhem set a West End cinema screen alight yesterday, to the delight of gathered experts and dignitaries. But this was not your average Hollywood premiere! The 2018 London Adventure Play Awards saw deputy mayor Joanne McCartney join 200 experts in play – children from 15 of the capital’s 80 or so magical adventure playgrounds – to watch films they had made about the places they love to play up on the big screen at the Prince Charles Cinema. 


Lambeth’s Triangle Adventure Playground scooped not only the prestigious playground of the year award but also ‘Coolest Place to Play’ with its film featuring a two-storey high bonfire, chanting children and mud aplenty. Redbridge’s ELHAP playground for disabled and disadvantaged children and their siblings won the ‘All-Inclusive’ award – and a fleet of space hoppers – while Islington’s King Henry’s Walk took ‘Best Flick’ for its blockbuster-trailer-inspired movie. Finally, Haringey newcomer Mount Pleasant Road was named London’s Play Street of the Year with its film showing tug-o-war and go karts in the rain. 

Fifteen playgrounds were shortlisted for awards as well as two play street finalists. Children from the 2017 Playground of the Year, Cape Adventure Playground, chose the winner. The Cape judges were initially sceptical that any playground could rival their own; but were won over by the Triangle film entry showing kids playing in sun, rain and even snow. Judge Kemi, 10 said: “I want to go there, now!” Jasmine, 12 added: “It’s cool, I really like this one.” There feelings of the children who play there were clear, with the film opening to the chant: “We love Triangle, we love Triangle!” Amira, 10 said “Triangle is special because you have lots of adventure. You play on tyre swings and slides. The Triangle staff are funny, creative and enjoyable to be around.” 


The winning prize will see Triangle children working with APEs Adventure Playground Engineers to design and build a new play structure with £500 of materials. Other prizes were donated by Marks Barfield (a trip in a private pod on the London Eye); and Timberplay (a set of play bales). Along with the films came plenty of popcorn, noise, games and high jinks with compere Charlie keeping the atmosphere just on the right side of chaos. 


Presenting the main award, deputy mayor Joanne McCartney said: “I really enjoyed seeing the films you all made. It’s clear how much fun you have and how important your adventure playgrounds are to you. I understand how important play is; and making friends too – and I can see that this is what happens in these places.” 


Cinzia, 16 was part of the Triangle winning group. She said: “The fact that adventure playgrounds even exist is great. They are places that children of all ages can go and play and be free and do stuff that they want.” Anna, 9 added: “I’m very happy to win, I thought it would be another playground – I’m speechless!” 


London Play’s chair, Melian Mansfield said: “Congratulations to Triangle, ELHAP and King Henry’s Walk adventure playgrounds on their awards. Thank you too, for showing us what all children deserve to have access to: high quality, adventurous play in their communities. These annual awards remind us how important it is to protect them for future generations.” 


John O’Driscoll, director of main award sponsors APES said: “The London Adventure Play Awards offer vital recognition of the difference play makes in the capital, and it’s a privilege to be associated with them.” 


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