Experiencing Balloon Netball

Scope’s journalism intern Ciaran Hoyle talks to Dino Ciuffetelli, a Balloon Netball Player about his experience with the sport and the difference it has made to his life.

Who doesn’t like playing netball? Imagine the same game, but with balloons and wheelchairs. After the hugely successful Balloon Football League, Scope wanted to expand this further. This lead to launching a pilot Balloon Netball League in 2018. This turned out to be a huge success, with more than 70 participants. Balloon Netball is sanctioned by Netball Victoria and Suncorp’s NetSetGo program.

Dino Ciuffetelli participated in a ‘come and try session of Balloon Netball two years ago and there was no stopping him since. He now enjoys playing netball on Mondays, another addition to his already active schedule of swimming, going to the gym, and walking his dog.

The nature of the game has ensured Dino makes plenty of friends along the way. “If only more people can join the game and share the same passion”, says Dino.

Balloon Netball allows people with multiple and complex disabilities to play netball using a large balloon and modified goal hoops. Along with the positive health and well-being outcomes associated with all sport, Balloon Netball’s slower, more predictable format allows people with different needs to participate.

Finding a place where you feel you belong can be a struggle for those who don’t always have the same opportunities. Initiatives like Scope’s Balloon Netball League provide a way to make some of these opportunities available to everyone. It’s one of the first steps in creating an inclusive community.