Cam and Adam win Inspire Awards for Balloon Football League

Breaking down barriers for people with disability to play sport.

Adam Barry and Cameron West have been announced as the winner of the Best Achievement in Sport and Recreation category (Team Award) at the Funds in Court Inspire Awards, an annual award ceremony organised by the Supreme Court of Victoria that recognise outstanding achievements of individuals with a disability.

Adam and Cameron were announced as co-winners for their efforts in creating and pioneering Balloon Football League (BFL), a modified version of AFL for people using powered and manual wheelchairs and walkers. BFL is now played by over 185 people with complex physical and multiple disabilities across 7 established leagues in Victoria.

“It’s an honour to win the award. BFL has had an enormous impact on my life and it’s been amazing to see it grow,’ said Adam.

Adam and Cameron, who both have cerebral palsy and use wheelchairs, developed BFL after years of watching AFL and deciding they were going to recreate the skills they saw on the screen.

With support from Scope, the rules of BFL were developed. BFL is played under the same point scoring system as AFL on a basketball court turf, with players being able to use any part of their body to move the ball.

Scope CEO, Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald said Adam and Cameron’s efforts in developing BFL have had an enormous impact on the lives of players across Victoria.

“Playing a regular sport like BFL has significant benefits in improving physical, cognitive and mental health in players. Additionally, for many of the people we support, BFL plays a large part in their social lives and has allowed them to develop a new network of friends.”

“Adam and Cameron’s work in making BFL a fully accessible and inclusive sport has lessened several of the structural and attitudinal barriers that often prevent people living with disability from playing sport.”

“Scope is extremely proud of Adam and Cameron’s efforts and Scope will continue to work with them to expand and develop BFL further.”

The Inspire Awards®, founder is Miranda Bain on behalf of Funds in Court which is a division of the Supreme Court of Victoria. The awards are in their second year, and recognise a person 18 years or older, based in Victoria, who identifies with a disability and is well respected in their field of work/interest and community.

Nominees are acknowledged not only for their professional contribution to their work but for their outstanding leadership qualities, role modelling and mentoring.

About Scope

Scope’s mission is to enable each person to live as an empowered and equal citizen.

We support people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities and developmental delays to achieve their goals.

Across Victoria, Scope provides services to over 6,000 people with a disability across more than 100 service locations.

Scope also works with corporate and community organisations to improve inclusiveness for people with a disability.

Scope’s foundations stretch back to 1948, when a group of parents who wanted better lives and options for their children with disabilities established the Spastic Children’s Society of Victoria.

Scope acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

View a PDF version of this media release here.

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