How and why "Fusen (balloon) Volleyball" was born?


* How and why "Fusen (balloon) Volleyball" was born?

One winter day in 1989, a person living in Kitakyushu said to himself "how nice itwould be if there was a sport that people with severe disabilities can enjoy withthose without disabilities." It was the time when the dream for this sport was born.

 

Most of the existing sports for people with disabilities are limited to only those withdisabilities. In addition, very few sports are available to those with severe disabilities.

 

The idea of using balloons comes from the use of them for physical exercises. Thishas become common practice in rehabilitation, recreation, hospitals, institutions, andother organizations for people with disabilities evolved to become "Fusen Volleyball."It is a sport for anyone who wants to join.

* The next step

The sport was so fun and successful, that in the spring of 1990,"The FusenVolleyball Promotive Committee"was established for the purpose of promotingthis sport to the public in Japan, promoting participation of people with disabilities insociety, and building networks in every community.

It took half a year for us to create the rules. We went on to make videos, andsurveys for different communities. Additionally, we composed a theme song, "Kaze-niOmoi-wo (Our hope will fly high and away with the wind, or hopes with the wind)".

With our song, we started the Tournament of Fusen Volleyball that autumn.

* Up to today

In autumn of 1990, the 26thNational sports contest for athletes with disabilities tookplace in Fukuoka. Parts of this contest took place in Kitakyushu. Taking fulladvantage of this opportunity, we held the first National tournament of FusenVolleyball around the same time. 14 teams in total came from Kitakyushu, Tagawacity, and Yamaguchi prefecture.

The second tournament took place in the following year. Teams from Kagoshimaprefecture participated in the 2ndtournament, resulting in 18 teams who joined us.On the 3rdtournament, 24 teams joined. There were teams from Oita and Nagasakiprefectures. And at the 4thtournament, 28 teams participated. These days oursport is played in various communities for events, sport meetings, or recreation

* The future of Fusen Volleyball

Through this sport, we would like to promote the interaction between people withdisabilities and people without disabilities, as well as to provide more opportunity forparticipation in social activities. We also hope to promote this sport internationally.

Do you think Fusen volleyball has future in the Olympics or the World Cup?

Some day in near the future, yes.

Why not?