Yowies under threat

THE Queanbeyan Yowies women's basketball team could be forced to pull out of the New South Wales Waratah Women's State League with no confirmed sponsors for the 2014 season.

The club has been unable to source the required amount of funding to maintain a senior women's program this year.

Should this funding not come, the Yowies women's team that has made the finals every year since 2011 may fold.

The Yowies require an annual budget of approximately $10,000 per season to cover team costs. They are also required to pay a fee to Basketball NSW to enter the competition.

Yowies captain Kristen Langhorn said there is a fear within the team they may not be playing state level basketball this year.

"A lot of the girls in the team have been playing since we re-entered the state league five years ago so it would be a terrible thing to not be able to play," she said.

"We normally struggle a bit to attract sponsors before the season starts, but we normally pull through. This year though we haven't been able to get anywhere."

Langhorn said the club normally needs eight to ten sponsors to reach their required budget.

"It would be such a shame because we've made the finals for the last three years and haven't won a grand final yet," said Langhorn.

The club has charged their own senior players a fee this year, but this would need to be increased to more than $1000 to cover the shortfall.

"We're really, really struggling at the moment and things are not looking too good," Langhorn acknowledged.

"I would encourage local business to get behind their local team. We engage with the community, and we give back to it through holding fundraisers and keeping young girls active and healthy as well."

Langhorn also predicted the demise of the Queanbeyan's senior female team would have a negative impact on the club's junior program.

However, assistant coach and Yowies women's board member Emma Anderson says she is still confident of attracting sponsors by the end of March deadline.

"The people of Queanbeyan are normally great and get behind their local teams," Anderson said.

"We've already drawn up sponsorship packages. The main one is signage at the basketball centre which has about 1000 people per week using it."

The Queanbeyan Age

"The Council can provide grants for individual athletes and teams which apply to compete in national and international level events...we have too many teams to fund for state level competition," Geyer said.

Queanbeyan senior men’s team has already secured its own sponsorship for the upcoming season.

Any interested sponsors can contact Yowies captain Kristen Langhorn on 0423 473 513.

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