DESPITE spending a few days in camp ahead of the 2019 Africa Netball Cup which starts on Friday in Cape Town, South Africa, new Gems skipper Felistas Kwangwa is optimistic they are going to give out top drawer performances.
The tournament will be held at the Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town with Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, and Malawi all participating.
The teams will battle it out across five days between Friday and next week Tuesday to be crowned champions.
The Gems established camp on Monday and were due to leave the country for Mzansi on Thursday.
Kwangwa, who takes over the team captaincy from Perpetua Siyachitema, who retired after the World Cup in July, in Liverpool said: “Despite being in camp for a few days, everything seems to be on the right track. The girls are focused and determined and I am confident that we are going to do well in South Africa. We promise the nation to continue from where we left in England. We are going to give out some captivating performance.”
In their first day of the Africa Netball Championships, the Gems will do battle against Uganda on Friday.
On Saturday they will fight it out against Kenya before they take on Tanzania 24 hours later.
The tournament’s elimination games will be played on Monday. Playoff, bronze medal match and the gold medal match are all slated for Tuesday.
Kwangwa, a 24-year-old goal defender, was brilliant during the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July, scooping Most Valuable Player awards against Northern Ireland and Barbados.
Her brilliance grabbed the attention of international clubs and about her new role in the Gems squad, the former Sikhulile High School and Mtshede Primary School pupil said: “I have to be more responsible and strong. I am a bit nervous but due to the fact that I have been the juniors team captain for so long gives me the courage. I have also been the Gems’ vice-captain for five years which means I am an experienced leader. In that regard, I believe I will be a productive leader.”
Kwangwa started doing duty for the junior national sides in 2012 at the age of 17. She captained the Golden Girls at the 2014 Region 5 Games and also led the team at the 2018 Junior World Cup Qualifiers in Botswana.
She became part of the senior netball team in 2014 and a year later she was named the vice-captain going on to shine at the 2017 Tri-Nations Tournament and at the 2019 Telkom Tournament in SA held in May where she was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
2019 Africa Netball Cup fixtures:
Friday 18 October
8:00am (SAST) Uganda v Zimbabwe
10:am (SAST) Zambia v Lesotho
12pm (SAST) Kenya v Tanzania
6pm (SAST) South Africa v Malawi
Saturday 19 October
10am (SAST) Tanzania v Uganda
12pm (SAST) Zimbabwe v Kenya
2pm (SAST) Malawi v Zambia
4pm (SAST) Lesotho v South Africa
Sunday 20 October
10am (SAST) Malawi v Lesotho
12pm (SAST) South Africa v Zambia
2pm (SAST) Kenya v Uganda
4pm (SAST) Tanzania v Zimbabwe
Monday 21 October
10am (SAST) Pool A pos.3 v Pool B pos.4
12pm (SAST) Pool B pos.3 v Pool A pos.4
2pm (SAST) Pool A pos.1 v Pool B pos.2
4pm (SAST) Pool B pos.1 v Pool A pos.2
Tuesday 22 October
8am (SAST) Play off for positions 7.8
10am (SAST) Play off for positions 5/6
12pm (SAST) Bronze Medal Match
2pm (SAST) Gold Medal Match