Ben Block, eight, wants something most primary school kids don’t even have to think twice about: space to kick a footy around at lunchtime.
Ben goes to Warrnambool Special Developmental School (SDS), and there’s no room for him to safely kick a ball at its overcrowded facilities.
Among other measures, the school has staggered lunchtimes as it waits to be given state government funding to begin construction of a new school at a spacious Wollaston Road site.
Ben’s mum, Georgina Block, said every child should have the opportunity and space to kick around a football with friends at school.
“Ben is a very energetic child, and for him to get through a productive school day, he needs to be able to move around a lot outside of the class room,” she said.
“The current site doesn’t allow the space for this.
“Ben loves playing with his friends, and has learned a lot about how to be social by practising what he has learnt in the playground.”
Mrs Block is part of a parent and community group, Every Child, pushing for the school to receive funding for a new building in next year’s state budget.
“Ask any school-age child how they would feel if they didn’t have the freedom at their school to run around and play games with the rest of the school,” she said.
“Our children are no different.”
The group has encouraged community members to ‘show their shovels’ to demonstrate their support for the SDS funding campaign.
Ben is from Hawkesdale, and the Hawkesdale Macarthur Football Club under 16s team recently sent through a team photo with painted shovels to show their support for the group’s campaign.
The group has also reached out to other local football clubs to get behind the campaign and show support.