ZIMBABWE senior netball team captain, Felisitus Kwangwa, has always wanted to be different.
And, she has just done that by joining Vitality Netball Superleague club Surrey Storm in England.
She will be joining the side for the 2021 season.
Kwangwa becomes the first player, from a local league to break into the Vitality Netball Superleague, which is one of the top leagues in the world.
The club first expressed interest in Kwangwa last year after the World Cup.
A deal could not materialise since clubs under the Vitality Netball Superleague can only sign players from countries ranked in the top 12.
Zimbabwe was ranked number 14.
But, with the country moving into 12th place, a few months ago, the club finally made their move and they struck a 10-month deal with the Gems’ captain.
Kwangwa, who had been on loan at Platinum Queens from Correctional Queens, was expected to leave the country last night.
“It means a lot, like I said when we were going for the (World Cup) qualifiers that all I wanted was to make history, all I wanted was for the team to make it, so that’s still my dream.
“So, now, being the first person to go, I think it will also open more opportunities for others because I think people now know there is real talent in Zimbabwe.
“I am promising you that I will be a good ambassador out there. I am promising to do pretty well so that they can look for more talent here in Zimbabwe.
“I believe we are good netballers and in the next three years, I promise you, we will be a powerhouse,” said Kwangwa.
Surrey Storm announced their new signing on their Twitter handle yesterday.
“Welcome to Storm, Felisitus Kwangwa!
“We are excited to have an athlete of Felisitus’ calibre joining our defensive end.”
The club’s coach, Mikki Austin, speaking to club’s website, said Kwangwa will be a huge addition.
“New to Surrey Storm for this season, we are so excited to have an athlete of Felisitus’ calibre joining our defensive end.
“As an athlete, who has stood head and shoulders for her ability to win the ball for Zimbabwe at Netball World Cup 2019, we cannot wait to see her compete again in duck egg blue.”
There was a send-off by the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Ministry, in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Netball Association, for Kwangwa just before her departure yesterday in Harare.
Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire hailed Kwangwa for her exploits, in a speech read on his behalf by deputy director sport and recreation in the Ministry, Ignatius Vambe.
“This is a very happy moment for us as the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation as we today export one of our own, demonstrating that sport can be a means of livelihood and that the girl child, also given the opportunity, can be able to overcome,” said Machakaire.
Zimbabwe Netball Association president, Leticia Chipandu, said this was a great achievement.
For the send-off, Kwangwa was in the company of her parents, Simeon and Tsitsi.