Kwangwa Rallies the Gems

By Ellina Mhlanga

IT will be Zimbabwe’s first appearance at the Netball World Cup and they are the only team that will be gracing the grand stage for the first time.

But the Gems are holding their heads high, drawing inspiration from a journey that has seen them defy the odds on and off the pitch.

The 16-team competition will take place from July 12 to 21 in Liverpool, England.

The Zimbabwe Gems, as the senior national netball team are affectionately known, are eager to make their maiden appearance at the Vitality Netball World Cup next month.

They have come a long way and vice captain Felistus Kwangwa believes the underdog tag will work in their favour.

“I think it’s an advantage for us going out there as the underdogs because those teams that have been there before know each other and their style of play.

“But for us they are going to rate us as underdogs.

“They don’t know anyone and I think it will work as an advantage for us when we face those teams,” said Kwangwa.

They are in Group A together with defending champions Australia, Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland.

Kwangwa is one of the key players in the team and is known for her defensive skills. She said this is an opportunity for exposure and to get the experience that comes with competing at such big events.

“I think this is an opportunity for both the individuals and the team. Zimbabwe has never been to such a big tournament and we have never had players that have been bought outside the country.

“I think I have several players I believe can make a breakthrough at this tournament. For those that remain, it’s an advantage because this is a learning curve and an opportunity to get experience and exposure because we are going to meet some of the world’s best teams and players.”

2019 Vitality Netball World Cup Groups

Group A: Australia, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka.

Group B: New Zealand, Malawi, Barbados, Singapore.

Group C: Jamaica, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji.

Group D: England, Uganda, Scotland, Samoa.

Source : The Herald

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