The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds celebrated the beginning of the 2016 season today, unveiling a fresh look including new major sponsors and additional team members, all on court at their new-look home facilities at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Since winning the 2015 ANZ Championship against the NSW Swifts 57 – 56 in front of a sell-out home crowd in June, the Queensland team has signed on three new players Hulita Haukinima, Chelsea Lemke and Mahalia Cassidy.

2016 is the first season Hulita Haukinima (Wing Defence and Goal Defence), and South Australian recruit Chelsea Lemke (Goal Attack, Goal Shooter and Wing Attack) will play in the ANZ Championships. Mahalia Cassidy (Centre and Wing Attack) joins the team in an official capacity, having played as a replacement Firebirds player in 2015.

The three new additions will make their debut with The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds when the team plays its first 2016 ANZ Championships game against the Mainland Tactix in Brisbane on Friday 1 April at 6pm.

The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds 2016 team line-up also includes Laura Geitz, Romelda Aiken, Gretel Tippett, Gabi Simpson, Laura Clemesha, Beryl Friday, Clare McMeniman, Caitlyn Nevins, Kim Ravaillion and will be headed up by head coach Roselee Jencke.

The much-loved Queensland team has also proven its success off the court since winning last year’s major title, with The Coffee Club coming on board as naming rights partner in December 2015.

Today, three further partners were announced including Samsung, the University of Queensland and FC 11.

Samsung Electronics Australia was recently announced as a major partner of The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds and official partner of Netball Queensland. The University of Queensland was named as the official University and Tertiary Education partner of The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds and Netball Queensland. Australia’s leading sports education provider FC 11 has become the official Industry Training partner of the team and Netball Queensland.

Queensland Firebirds and Netball Queensland Chief Executive Officer CEO Catherine Clark said the team was aiming to start the 2016 season strong, thanks to a new team line up and major corporate sponsors.

“Starting the 2016 season with the backing of four new high profile partners is a major coup for the team and we are thrilled to partner with them this year,” she said.
“It’s fantastic to have the support of these great brands and highlights their commitment to women’s sport.

“We’re really excited to begin the season and look forward to our dedicated fans getting into the spirit with a refreshed uniform and new-look home facilities at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.”

The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds Head Coach Roselee Jencke said her team was prepared for another thrilling season.

“2015 was a fantastic season but we’re now focusing on the new challenges 2016 will present,” she said.

“As a team we want to improve our performance across all lines this year, and individually where there is still a lot of growth potential.

“We are also focusing on creating opportunities for the younger players to step in and perform well on the court this season.

“All teams in the ANZ Championships are on the same page, we’ve all played practice matches and no team has a settled line up.

“We’re all chasing the same goal to be a part of the final series but we are a long way from this. We want to be the best we can be.”

Lee McLean, PPR, 3309 4702, 0411 868 348,
Rachel Wood, PPR, 3309 4770, 0401 476 597,