The JCU Townsville Fire will stage a community camp in Mackay in September including a pre-season hit out against the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames.
Earlier today, the two-time reigning Wattle Valley WNBL champions, in conjunction with Mackay Regional Council, Mackay Basketball and the Flames, confirmed they would stage the community camp from September 16 to 18.
With support from council’s Invest Mackay Events Attraction Program, the ‘Mackay Pride’ community camp will include school visits, coaching clinics and a showcase fixture between the Fire and the Flames on Saturday, September 17.
Fire General Manager Richard Goodbody said the club was thrilled to be playing in Mackay after almost two years of negotiating.
“Mackay is a strategically important area to the Fire and we’re delighted that we can bring the two-time reigning WNBL champions to the city,” Goodbody said.
“With our Olympians poised to join us post-Rio, we look forward to a key hit-out against the Flames.
“We can’t wait to work with the Mackay community to help promote the sport and we’re extremely grateful to Mackay Regional Council, Mackay Basketball and the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames for the opportunity to showcase some of the world’s best basketballers in the region.”
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the visit by the two WNBL teams was exciting for sports fans but would also provide an economic benefit for the region.
“Both clubs are putting together special fan packages to encourage people from Sydney and Townsville to come to Mackay for the weekend,” Williamson said.
“The two teams, supporters and officials also aren’t just coming for the game on the Saturday night.
“There will be school visits and a civic reception on the Friday, as well as meet-and-greets with junior players at the McDonalds Mackay Stadium on the Saturday.”
Mackay Basketball Business Development Manager Wade Rebetzke said it would be a showcase of elite women’s basketball.
“The Fire boasts current Olympian and Australian Opal player Suzy Batkovic and New Zealand players Micaela Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast,” Rebetzke said.
“The game itself should also draw a big crowd, given the Townsville Fire have won the past two titles and their opponents Sydney Uni are always competitive.”
The Fire will make further announcements in the coming months in regards to travel and accommodation deals, as well as membership packages.