The Balloon Football League’s (BFL) night of nights, the annual Black Tie Awards, was held on Friday 28th October in the Limelight Room at Etihad Stadium. The awards are an opportunity for BFL players to get out of their sporting gear and dress up to formally celebrate the achievements of over 200 players from around the state.

Paralympian Isis Holt presents Sportsperson of the Year award to Brendan Fowler.

Paralympian Isis Holt presents Sportsperson of the Year award to Brendan Fowler.

There were many highlights to celebrate during the year and these included the annual state-wide All Stars Game, the Country versus Metro Challenge, the progression of the Junior BFL program into schools and the continued success of the various regional leagues.

Entertainment throughout the night was provided by Ballarat’s favourite band, the Sugar Bells and there was a special guest speaker in Paralympian Isis Holt, who gave an insight into what it takes to be an elite athlete. CEO Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald officially opened proceedings with an address that once again showed her support for BFL and what it means to the people we support.

Hall of Fame inductee Russell Burrell with Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Hall of Fame inductee Russell Burrell with Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald.

It was great to see every region represented on the night, especially those from far-flung areas such as Barwon and Bendigo. The night was hosted by our own Zane McKenzie from the Scope Education team.

Major award winners included Michelle Smilie for the Leading Woman in BFL, Brendan Fowler for Sportsperson of the Year and Russell Burrell was inducted into the BFL Hall of Fame.

The evening was organised by Scope’s Community Inclusion team and supported by members of the Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre.

For further information on the BFL Black Tie Awards and all things BFL, please contact Jemima Aitchison on jaitchison@scopeaust.org.au or call 8311 4027.

Header image: Guests were entertained by the Sugar Bells band from Ballarat.