from DANAI MWARUMBWA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – ZIMBABWE captain, Felisitus Kwangwa, is eager to pick up from where she left off four years ago and inspire her side to honours in the upcoming historic Netball World Cup.
The tournament resumes in neighbouring South Africa later this month and the Zimbabwe skipper will be among the players to watch after earning three Player of the Match accolades in her nation’s first ever appearance in England in 2019.
The 28-year-old goal defence is determined for her side to leave their mark at the 2023 edition set for the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
“Zim is to bring the Cup home and if not, at least to do better than at our previous World Cup,” the confident Kwangwa weighed her team’s chances.
Now based in the United Kingdom, she led the side to eighth place in 2019.
“The team is composed of great players with so much potential,” Kwangwa said.
“I think we are going to give our personal best which will help us to do better than the previous tournament.”
The road to Cape Town has not been an easy one for Zimbabwe.
From the previous World Cup, there have been a number of new young players in the squad.
The COVID-19 was a setback in the rebuilding process.
“I am glad that even though we’re still rebuilding, we managed to secure a spot for us to compete at the World Cup for the second consecutive time,” the captain added.
“However, Zimbabwe only got one Test series in preparation for the tournament, and Kwangwa believes it is also hard for the coaches or anyone else to measure success.
“Nonetheless besides all that, the association has tried to organise a number of camps for the team to prepare which is what is very important.”
Zimbabwe is in Group A alongside 11-time winners Australia, Fiji and Tonga,
The prospect of playing the greatest tournament in the sport, for the first time in Africa, excites Kwangwa.
“It’s good for netball development in the continent (Africa), and a challenge to the African nations competing as we need to keep the Cup in our land,” she said.
No African side has won it, with only South Africa managing second in 1995 and third in 1967.
“I think it will also be a uniting factor for everyone involved, promote women in sport, and encourage other nations who are working towards professionalisation of the game,” Kwangwa concluded.
– CAJ News