SATURDAY will be a night to celebrate for the Queanbeyan Basketball Association with the men's and women's Yowies teams hosting the first double-header at the Queanbeyan Basketball Stadium.
While the men opened their campaign account on the road last weekend, Saturday will see the women get a chance to put a worrying preseason behind them to make an impact on the NSW Waratah State League.
Just three weeks ago the team was in danger of having to pull out of the State League with no sponsors and the unlikelihood of being able to rely totally on self-funding.
However a committed effort from the players and staff involved with the team in promoting themselves to the Queanbeyan community attracted enough sponsorship to cover the Waratah State League competition fee of $4500, and while they will still have to cover their own travel costs, assistant coach Emma Anderson was ecstatic her Yowies would be able to play again.
Walsh's Hotel, MVP Photography, Trilogy Plumbing and a travel agency have all come on board to get the women through the 2014 season.
"We went out in the community and spoke with some local businesses, and through word of mouth we got positive feedback and now we have a few sponsors on board," she said.
"We're still building it, but we're now in a situation where we can still play in the competition, we're just not in a position where we can not pay for accomodation when we go away."
"We're holding a fundraiser night on the second of May at the Roos club, who have kindly offered a free room."
"The community spirit always pulls through in Queanbeyan. There's possibly another couple of businesses from Canberra and Queanbeyan to come on board too."
Despite the funding concerns pre-season the women trained positively from February, and played a practice match against Canberra side Ginninderra on Tuesday night.
Alexandra Cooper and Jasmine Combe will be out for Saturday's clash to injury, with Combe out indefinitely with a broken finger.
Anderson was impressed by the way the team played in the Ginninderra warm-up, and believes with sponsors now sorted, they will be ready to locl horns with Wagga Wagga on Saturday.
"There was only 10 points in it [Ginninderra game], so it was a good hit out and it gave us the chance to smooth out the edges we needed to," she said.
"Wagga will be tough. They have a lot of quick little guards that we'll need to push through."