Council throws support behind Townsville basketball

Date published: 27 September 2017

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill this week is handing over a $55,000 cheque to support the Townsville Fire’s 2017/18 WNBL campaign, and a further $54,500 to back a program developing basketball stars of the future.

Cr Hill said the funding is a vote of confidence in the sport of basketball in Townsville.

“It’s fantastic to partner with Townsville Basketball and JCU Fire with this funding deal, especially leading in to the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Cr Hill said.

“The Townsville Fire and the Townsville Heat are great success stories and an inspiration for the young players coming up the ladder.

“Townsville Basketball has a long history of providing high performance pathways for Townsville junior players to progress to elite levels.

“They also do tremendous work in the community promoting the benefits of teamwork and keeping active.”

Cr Hill said the entire city will be behind the Fire when they start the season in a few weeks with their first game at Townsville Stadium on October 13.

“This team are dual national champions and the council is proud to be one of their main sponsors,” Cr Hill said.

Fire general manager Richard Goodbody said the JCU Townsville Fire was extremely appreciative of the support they had received from Townsville City Council.

“As the only national sporting club that carries the Townsville name across Australia, it’s an honour to represent our city on and off the court,” Mr Goodbody said.

“We’re extremely proud of the championship banners that hang from our rafters, but we’re just as proud of the role we play in providing positive, healthy, female role models.”

Townsville Heat Head Coach Rodney Anderson is excited to see the pathway for junior athletes secured with this funding announcement.

“We are most proud that 12 of the 16 players in the Townsville Heat’s Queensland Basketball League Championship squad were local players who have come through the Townsville Basketball system,” Mr Anderson said.

“The funding we’ve received from council will help junior players continue their transition into the Queensland Basketball League, the Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Leagues and even to represent Australia in events like the Commonwealth Games.”

Cr Hill said the basketball entertainment on offer in Townsville over the next eight months would not only feature the Fire, but some of the best players in the world when the Commonwealth Games rolls into town.

"We will be playing host to the world in April 2018 when men’s and women’s basketball takes over the Townsville Entertainment Centre,” Cr Hill said.

"Our very own Opals will headline the competition played here and we will be cheering for them as they take on the world."