Australia's first World Hide and Seek Championship team returns in glory from Consonno, Italy to wide acclaim

Australia's first World Hide and Seek Championship team — the Nascondingos — is returning from the 2017 World Championships in Consonno, Italy.

The Nascondingos are six larrikin Aussies; Emily Dawson, Chanie Hyde, Tommy Ekman, Sacha Ward, Stuart Dawson, Alec Jones and Alan Jones. They have come together from (almost all) the four corners of the world to unite for the first time and represent Australia in the world championship version of hide and seek, called “Nascondino”, a sport unknown to most Australians but played in many countries across Europe, the US, Asia and Africa.

 (L to R) Emily Dawson (with baby Sam Dawson), Sacha Ward, Tommy Ekman, Alan Jones, Chanie Hyde and Stuart Dawson.

(L to R) Emily Dawson (with baby Sam Dawson), Sacha Ward, Tommy Ekman, Alan Jones, Chanie Hyde and Stuart Dawson.


“Honestly, a year ago we had never heard of Nascondino either,” says co-captain of the Nascondingos Stuart Dawson. “My co-captain Alan Jones and I had just completed a previous project where we’d built a boat out of wine bottles in Sydney and driven it 4,800km to Darwin to place second in the annual Darwin Beer Can Regatta.”

“We loved the larrikin Aussie spirit we found in Darwin and among the small crew of lads who drove our boat to Darwin and paddled it in the race. It felt so real, especially when Australia’s most popular sports are dominated by large professional organisations, media companies and big advertising budgets. So we set out to find a new project centred on larrikin Aussies doing slightly crazy sporting things in unusual places.”

“And we found it in the Nascondino World Championships: held in a deserted Italian town originally conceived as an ‘Italian Las Vegas’ and featuring a competition including more than 400 competitors in 80 teams, from places like Italy, Germany, France, the US, Belgium, Portugal, Japan, and even a team from Africa.”

“But never a team from Australia, which really surprised my co-captain, Alan Jones,” says Dawson.

“Most Aussies I know consider Australia to be the world’s greatest sporting nation,” says Jones. “We may have let the mantle slip a little in recent years in sports such as tennis, cricket, swimming, golf, rugby, netball... uhh, wait: the point is, Australia needs a sport which is great to play, entertaining to watch and just bloody good fun. We’ve discovered that Nascondino is that sport,” says Jones.



About the sport of Nascondino

“It’s actually not very much like hide and seek,” says Jones. “Nascondino is a sport more akin to the game of bullrush, with players coming out of hiding to try and beat a neutral ‘seeker’ back to a large beanbag designated as the ‘safe zone’. It means that hiding isn’t the only skill in Nascondino — you also need to be able to get up quickly, sprint over a 10-50m distance, and leap or dive for the ‘safe zone’ before the seeker reaches it. As a spectator, you’ll find Nascondino is dynamic, fast-moving, chaotic game, in which luck, chance and athleticism are king, and women and men are equally able to compete.”

Team member Chanie Hyde says what surprised her most was how much fun it is. “I’ve been a highly-ranked roller derby player in the past, and that’s a fun sport to compete in, but Nascondino had me grinning like a little kid while I’m hiding and then my heart racing as I see a chance to go for it and race off from my hiding place to try and make it to safety before I’m seen.” Find out more about the 2017 world championships at

About the Nascondingos

Australia’s first Nascondino team, featuring the highest ranked Australian in international Nascondino competition (Stuart Dawson), was pulled together over the past year and self-funded its way to attend the world championships in Italy this year. For 2018 the team would welcome expressions of interest from potential sponsors and in-kind supporters. Find out more about the Nascondinos at

About Consonno, the “deserted Italian Las Vegas”

Consonno used to be an adult’s wonderland. Today it is a ghost town. In the early 60’s, entrepreneur Count Mario Bagno decided to create the Las Vegas of Italy in Consonno. He built a minaret, a Chinese pagoda, a medieval castle, a dance hall, a motel and many other luxurious recreation centers designed to cater to the Lombard bourgeoisie. A landslide struck just a few years after the town was opened, effectively shutting it down for good.

The bizarre, decadent buildings, as well as signs such as “Consonno is the smallest and most beautiful country in the world” and “Consonno is always a party” still remain. But Consonno isn’t only a ghost town and the objective of Nascondino World Championships is to draw out the hidden features of the ghost town. The playing field itself is a beautiful, sprawling 65,000 square metre terraced valley that overlooks Lake Como and the mountains in the background.


Alan Jones