Netball World Cup's Secret Stars Include Welsh Couch Potato And Zambian Grandmother

18/08/2015 12:32 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Georgia Rowe of Wales catches the ball during the 2015 Netball World Cup match between Australia and Wales at Allphones Arena on August 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

While Australia took to the podium after winning the Netball World Cup, hidden in the wings were some of the tournament's secret stars.

With the world's top four ranked nations reaching the semi-finals, some might say the tournament went to script.

But what about the reformed 20-year-old couch potato from Wales, who in just four years has become an international star? Or the 45-year-old grandmother representing Zambia in her first World Cup?


In a period of just three years, Georgia Rowe has gone from being a sedentary teenager with little interest in sport, to representing her country at the highest level.

Her father, realising something need to change, sought out the national coach Melissa Hyndman and arranged a trial for the 195cm teenager when she was just 16. And the rest, as they say, is history.

She played a crucial role for the Welsh team, which achieved a best-ever World Cup result of seventh.

georgia rowe

From the couch to the court: Welsh star Georgia Rowe in action. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Zambian's grandma superstar Margaret Mutafela made her World Cup debut despite having 41 Test caps -- the most in her team.

Mutafela has played netball since the age of 10 but says she will now retire happy, having fulfilled her dream of playing at a World Cup.

And although the Australian and Kiwi women took the spotlight on the final day, it is Mwai Kumwenda who is being hailed as the "Queen of the Tournament".

mwai kumwenda

Mwai Kumwenda, Malawi's goal scoring sensation, takes 500 shots a day at practice. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The goal-shooting sensation from Malawi was awarded the Player of the Tournament title having shot 321 goals out of 351 attempts in eight games across 10 days -- that’s a 91 percent accuracy rate.

How did she get so good?

Good, old-fashioned hard work. Kumwenda puts up 500 practice shots every day and does not miss a day.

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