We caught up with Zimbabwe Captain and Surrey Storm player Felisitus Kwangwa, who joined the Gilbert Netball Team at the end of 2020. The 26 year old defence player has shown power and flair in the Vitality Netball Superleague, having played her debut match back in February 2021.
We wanted to find out a bit more about how Felisitus started playing netball, and rose to the top of her game.
- How old were you when you started playing netball and how did you get into the sport?
I was 10 years old and doing grade 5, and I was more in to Athletics and was doing well. So school netball is played in winter and it was in 2005, after my very successful athletics season when l got punished for not attending my house netball training session. I was just waiting for the next athletics term which was the following year, and after being forced into netball my love for it grew when I realized how good I was!
However, when I went to high school I dropped netball again and focused more on my Athletics. My Ndebele language teacher forced me back into netball due to my height and that she went through my school report and found out that I used to play netball at primary school. Finally, because of my ability to sprint and jump - she considered these as the major natural skills for a netball player. So since then I played netball up until today!
2. How have you found it coming to play in the Vitality Netball Superleague, and how have your team welcomed you?
This has been the greatest opportunity in my life and a big thanks to Storm who has made my dream come true. On the day when I decided to take netball seriously, my wish was to play at the World Cup and when Zimbabwe qualified, my wish was then to play in one of the best Netball leagues in the world. The team is made up of special people who are so loving and caring. To me, they are family and since I've met them I don’t even remember a day when I have felt homesick.
3. What is the training program like with Surrey Storm?
So demanding! But that was not new to me as I am used to such intense session because we used to do the same back home. The Strength and Conditioning training was new to me. I had never had a proper gym session before and to be honest the first month was hard. Now, I tend to enjoy the strength sessions more and I can just look at my program and do my own sessions, which is something I could not do before.
4. How do you prepare the night before a big game?
I just make sure I have enough rest so that I will be fresh on matchday.
5. What is your favourite personal netball playing moment?
It was when we played Loughborough in the first round of the Vitality Netball Superleague. It was my first time to be in the starting 7. All the games have been the best for me despite getting negative results at the end of the day.
6. Is there a player you have always looked up to, and if so, why?
I was a secret admirer of the former Australian Captain Laura Geitz, and I just wish to be able to play like she used to.
7. What advice would you give to a young netball player, dreaming of playing to your standard?
Everything is possible if you believe in yourself. Keep on working hard until you attain your goals. When you fall down, pick yourself up and get ready for the next challenge. Yes, the road won’t be smooth but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Always know that your time will come (Gods Time is the best).