The JCU Townsville Fire has unveiled the Queensland Government as their Game Day Partner ahead of Sunday’s Wattle Valley WNBL Preliminary Final.
Earlier today, the Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, made the announcement ahead of the inaugural Queensland Women’s Week (March 7 to 13) as she participated in an on-court session with members of the Fire and St Margaret Mary’s College at Townsville RSL Stadium.
Having dropped Sunday’s second semi-final to Perth, the Fire, who are the reigning WNBL champions, can book a fourth consecutive Grand Final appearance if they can overcome SEQ in the cut-throat encounter.
“As a community-owned club that exists to provide positive, healthy female role models, we are extremely grateful for the Queensland Government’s support and the leadership they are displaying by recognising the incredible achievements of the women in our state,” Fire General Manager Richard Goodbody said.
“The all-Queensland WNBL Preliminary Final features world-class athletes – four of whom we expect to be medalling in Rio for the Australian Opals later this year – and are exemplary role models to young girls and women.”
As part of the promotion, the Queensland Government will promote their inaugural Women’s Week, as well as the Start Playing, Stay Playing Excellence Awards.
As the member for Waterford, which takes in the Stars’ Logan base, Ms Fentiman said her loyalties were conflicted ahead of Sunday’s all-Queensland showdown.
“I’m all fired up about this weekend’s game but I do feel conflicted,” Ms Fentiman said.
“I’ve seen first-hand today the fantastic talents of the Fire, but as a Logan Local, I’ll be backing the SEQ Stars.
“What I can say is that everyone will be a winner who watches this game and supports women in sport.
“In the sporting arena, women are often the unsung heroes and given less recognition than men.
“Queensland Women’s Week is about recognising the fantastic achievements of women and girls, as well as promoting gender equality.”
Treasurer and Minister for Sport Curtis Pitt said he was happy to help with additional funding not just to support the event but to support morale in Townsville.
“This great city has shown remarkable resilience through some tough economic times and following the 237 redundancies at Yabulu, so I’m pleased to be able to help here as Sports Minister,” Mr Pitt said.
“Both teams deserve congratulations on their success in the hotly contested Women’s National Basketball League competition and I’ve already offered my condolences in advance to Minister Fentiman, since I’m sure that The Fire will take out the national title.
“I’m thrilled to see such talented female athletes going head to head and as a Government we want to shine the spotlight on female sport participation, which is why we launched the Start Playing, Stay Playing Excellence Awards to acknowledge the people who go above and beyond to increase and enhance opportunities for women and girls.”
Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said she was thrilled the Queensland Government was supporting women’s basketball and had high hopes for a win from The Fire.
“I’m in awe of the talent of The Fire players and I’d love to see them secure a spot in the national grand final,” she said.
The overall winner of the Minister’s Start Playing Stay Playing Excellence Award will receive an additional $2000 money prize.
There are some great prizes for category winners, including a medal, certificate, merchandise pack and a $1000 to help with their ongoing commitment to getting women and girls active for life.
Round one nominations must be submitted by Thursday, March 31, 2016 under one of three categories—Inclusion, Innovation or Inspiration.
To nominate visit www.qld.gov.au/spsp.
Queensland Women’s Week aims to celebrate the achievements of women and girls and acknowledge the proven benefits for all when women play an equal role in business, leadership and government.
To find events happening during the week, visit www.queenslandwomensweek.com.au