Balloon Netball delivers opportunities to get involved

The first program of Balloon Netball run by Netball Victoria in Melbourne’s north has concluded, with the sessions in Heidelberg encouraging people with multiple and complex disabilities to get involved in sport.

The eight-week program, run in conjunction with Scope, proved a great success. This specially modified version of netball makes it accessible for people with complex disabilities. It sees two teams with five players on each, aim to get a giant inflated balloon through the hoop.

Netball Victoria Community Development Manager, Kiemi Lai, said participants came a long way through the program, developing their confidence and skills week to week.

“We started the eight-week program with a variety of modified netball related drills and activities and built up to the balloon netball match-play in the final few sessions. It was wonderful to see the group develop their skills and enjoy the sessions,” said Lai.

“This is the second time we have partnered with Scope to run this program, the first was held earlier this year in Melbourne’s east. It is proving such a success to date that we are now hoping to continue its delivery in more locations,” said Lai.

Scope’s Strategic Development Coordinator – Sports, Jemima Aitchison, said how rewarding it is to be part of these programs.

“Knowing that people who ordinarily miss out on this sort of opportunity, get to participate in something that is such a big part of our culture here in Victoria [netball] is the most rewarding part of programs like this,” said Aitchison.

“I think netball and football are so integral to our society here locally, and there are people like our members who don’t get a chance to participate at all, so it’s really nice to see everyone getting to play. “It’s really important for people with multiple and complex disabilities to be able to participate in competitive sport and get the chance to play sports that most of us can if we want to,” said Aitchison.

Balloon Netball participant, Beth, said how much she enjoyed the experience and liked seeing everyone else in the group get involved.

“I like seeing people having fun and getting involved in sport and this gets them out in the community,” said Beth.

To find out more about Balloon Netball and Netball Victoria’s inclusive programming call 9321 2237.