Aidan Goldie couldn't wait to try the new saucer swing.
It was big and inviting and looked like one of those flying saucer toboggans hanging from a swing set.
At least two children can sit on it. And if they face the right way, they have a view of the water and mountains at Kits Beach.
"It looks really cool," Aidan, 12, said, surveying the new accessible playground at Kits Beach. "When some people don't like to play on the beach they can come here."
The new half-acre playground, which was officially opened by the Vancouver park board Saturday, is a legacy project of the Winter Olympics -- one of three accessible playgrounds in Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler.
The playground is intended to allow children of all abilities to play side by side with their siblings, friends, families and caregivers. The playground is wheelchair-accessible, with a sand play table, rotating climber and saucer swings.
The $540,000 project was paid for in part by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada and Rick Hansen Foundation.
Rick Hansen said Saturday the playground is a "shining example" of what he tried to do when he started his Man in Motion tour 25 years ago -- to make communities for accessible and inclusive.
Back then, he said, "there were barriers everywhere. What keeps me going is people all over the world are knocking down those barriers. It isn't that easy."
Heather McCain, executive director of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods, said she's pleased to see the new surfaces, which are flat and have a grip to allow wheelchairs to use the playground. McCain, who has severe arthritis and needs a wheelchair, said when she was younger she had trouble walking on rocks and other uneven surfaces.
"[The surfaces] are more steady and sturdy for people who can walk but have difficulty with balance," she said. "I'd go to help a child falling down and I'd fall down myself."
McCain noted the definition of disability is changing. "Every user group there is can access this playground."
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