As the best of the best Highlands sporting talent made their way through the Carrington Room doors, this was a night they wouldn't forget.
With a special guest speaker, prizing and the big two trophies: Senior and junior sporting person of the year awards up for grabs, the energy was high for the 41st Berrima District Sports Awards (BDSA).
The Mittagong RSL was full and getting the night underway was Chairperson for the BDSA, Ms Wendy Howard.
Chilli's achievements: The two Berrima District Sports Award winners for September have been announced
She welcomed guests and introduced nominees for their elected awards.
After dinner, the special guest took to the stage. She had competed at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London and the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai where she won the bronze medal in the Women's Long Jump.
Ms Sarah Walsh's story was an inspiring one and it all began with a dream as a child.
"Growing up I told my parents I wanted to be a paralympian," Walsh said.
"I had no idea what sport I wanted to do, but I just knew I wanted to represent Australia.
"The response my parents gave me was doubtful, but not unexpected as the week before I wanted to be princess (laughs)."
Ms Walsh continued and explained her condition and how it was a blessing in disguise.
"As you can see I only have one leg," Walsh said.
"I was born with a condition called Fibular Hemimelia. That means I was born with only one bone below my knee.
"My parents made the decision to have my leg amputated at around 18 months old. It was honestly the best decision that my parents could have ever made for me.
"It's given me the opportunity to represent Australia and do things kids my age weren't doing at that time.
"My journey has been an incredible one. From the little girl who watched the Paralympics on TV, to 2016 where her dreams came true.
"For me, I get to call myself a paralympian for the rest of my life. I get to stand proud as an elite athlete, travel the world and do what I love everyday."
The time had come for the two big trophies to be announced.
The senior sportsperson of the year was won by Melissa Perrine for Alpine Ski-ing. Perrine was unable to attend, but her mother accepted the award on her behalf.
The spark of the night was junior sportsperson of the year, Chilli Sparke for Cross Country Ski-ing.
Chilli's resume of sporting achievements, at her age, was something you think was from a 15 year veteran athlete.
Everyone in the room was stunned at just how much Sparke puts into her sport.
Wingecarribee Shire Council Mayor, Duncan Gair was in attendance and thanked the BDSA committee for all their hard work and was still reeling from Chilli's achievements.
"I don't know about you, but I'm nearly worn out listening to Chilli's achievements, (laughs)" Gair said.
"I'm not sure where she's going to end up at around the age of 18, but it will be a very interesting experience and she has a very bright future. Congratulations to you Chilli, well done and well deserved.
"We have a lot of talent coming through the Highlands on an annual basis. There are two words needed for every athlete, commitment and determination.
"You don't get anywhere in life without commitment or determination. Natural ability plays a huge part in what you achieve, especially in sport.
"The winners here tonight have these abilities and I congratulate you all on your success."
Here are the winners of the 2019 Berrima District Sports Awards:
- Keith Williams Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Melissa Perrine.
- Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Chilli Sparke
- Alec MacLean Club Person of the Year: David Elliott
- Senior Team: Gibraltar White Horse Cup Golf Team
- Junior Team: Mittagong Cougers U/15 Hockey Team
- School Team: Moss Vale High School Girls Hockey Team
To nominate a worthy athlete, email details of their achievements in the previous month to to firstname.lastname@example.org.