Ballon Football League crowned champion

BENDIGO’S Balloon Football League reached its climax last Friday at the Red Energy Arena.

The sport is a modified version of Australian rules football for disabled adults, played on a basketball court with a big ball for one ball and five wheelchair players per team.

It has been run by Scope for over 20 years, with the Bendigo league being established around six years ago.

Out of eight teams, the final went to the Bulldogs and Saints, with the Bulldogs victorious in the end.

Scope community inclusion manager Danni Hall said the sport is growing in popularity every year, due to its physical benefits and the ability for people with disabilities to compete.

The sport is a variation of Australian rules played by people in wheelchairs with a large ball for the ball.

“Scope is passionate about ball football because it was created by and for people with lived experience of disability,” she said.

“Community sport is a great way to build a vibrant community and plays a vital role in promoting physical and mental health.

“But the most important thing is real competition, the white line fever is definitely taking over and the players have some serious skills.

“We are so happy to see him back on the pitch after a difficult few years with the COVID restrictions.”

Longtime Bendigo player Matthew Rodda said he looks forward to playing with his team every week.

“It helps me to be team-oriented, not to think individually,” he said.

“Friendship, competitiveness, it’s excitement every week and something to look forward to.”