How it come about
How and why "Fusen (balloon) Volleyball" was born?
One winter day in 1989, a person living in Kitakyushu said to himself "how nice it would be if there was a sport that people with severe disabilities can enjoy with those 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 with disabilities. 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. This has become common practice in rehabilitation, recreation, hospitals, institutions, and other 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 Fusen Volleyball Promotive Committee" was established for the purpose of promoting this sport to the public in Japan, promoting participation of people with disabilities in society, and building networks in every community.
It took half a year for us to create the rules. We went on to make videos, and surveys for different communities. Additionally, we composed a theme song, "Kaze-ni Omoi-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 26th National sports contest for athletes with disabilities took place in Fukuoka. Parts of this contest took place in Kitakyushu. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, we held the first National tournament of Fusen Volleyball around the same time. 14 teams in total came from Kitakyushu, Tagawa city, and Yamaguchi prefecture.
The second tournament took place in the following year. Teams from Kagoshima prefecture participated in the 2nd tournament, resulting in 18 teams who joined us. On the 3rd tournament, 24 teams joined. There were teams from Oita and Nagasaki prefectures. And at the 4th tournament, 28 teams participated. These days our sport 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 with disabilities and people without disabilities, as well as to provide more opportunity for participation 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.