no-barriers-to-funRuckman Murray taps the balloon football to his teammates in Balloon Football at SG Splash on Wednesday. D022614.

IF NUMBERS and enthusiasm levels are anything to go by, the special needs community may soon be part of an extensive sports league.
On Wednesday, students from South Gippsland and Bass Coast specialist schools, along with Yooralla clients attended a multi-sports come and try day at SG Splash.
Participants played balloon football – a modified version of AFL played with a huge balloon on a basketball court, cricket – which uses a simple button to hit the ball, and boccia – a Paralympic sport similar to bocce.
The games day was a partnership between Scope, GippsSport, AFL Victoria, Boccia Victoria, local service providers and 10 student helpers from Mary MacKillop College.
Around 40 people of varying abilities participated.
“All three sports here today are designed for kids in chairs,” said GippSport coordinator Dan Poynton.
“A lot of these kids don’t get the opportunity to play a sport and organising the day was partly to provide a social and physical way to get involved.
“If we get enough interest (and some volunteers for a committee) we could start a local balloon footy and boccia league.
“We could do round robin games and for boccia, it’s a Paralympic sport so players could follow pathways.

“We’d expect we’d need about five [footy] a side, and if we get the other regions involved, it could be quite a competitive league.”
Other regions have already participated in the sports days – they include Baw Baw, Latrobe and Wellington.
A come and try day, particularly for people in wheelchairs, will be held on July 16.
For more information, or to get involved with the fledgling local league of all abilities sport, contact Dan Poynton on 0428 358 336.