With a whopping 16 athletes, from seven countries, having tread the courts at Loughborough, the University is excited to see just how far the players have come since donning the purple dress.
Heading to her first ever World Cup at just 19 years of age, current student Michelle Magee will face World number one Australia in her opening match with Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, Loughborough Lightning captain Nat Panagarry will also get her first taste of a World Cup, stepping out with the Vitality Roses in the famous red dress. Facing fellow Lightning teammate Mary Cholhok and recently departed Peace Proscovia with Uganda, Nat will face a tough start to the competition.
On her selection, Nat shared:
“It’s absolutely amazing to have been selected for the World Cup, it’s a childhood dream of mine to be selected in a major tournament and this will be not only my first World Cup but my first major tournament.
"It will be great to be on home soil, to step out in front of all our home fans. Since the Commonwealth Games the response has been incredible towards netball as a sport and I’m excited to see the impact of that throughout the tournament.”
Also joining Nat in the red dress will be Loughborough Alumna, Jo Harten who is set to receive her 100th cap for the national side in the opening match. One of the famous 12 to win Commonwealth Gold for the first time ever, Harten is no stranger to competing at a high level and will travel to Liverpool for her fourth World Cup.
Loughborough Lightning Franchise Director, Olivia Murphy was keen to describe the pride in seeing so many previous Loughborough athletes named in squads across the competition:
“Loughborough’s franchise from a netball perspective has been in place since the inception of the Superleague and we’ve had such an international flavour through our team over the years.
“We’ve been so lucky to have some of the best netballers in the world come and play for us here and they’ve contributed massively. Many have continued their journey elsewhere so I’m excited to see what they can bring to the World Cup.
“We’ve offered them support over time which will hopefully set them in good stead for the competition and they’re sure to bring a real flair to the tournament.”
Loughborough related athletes competing at the World Cup include:
Jade Clarke (Loughborough University Alumni)
Layla Guscoth (Loughborough Lightning Alumni)
Jo Harten (Loughborough University Alumni)
Nat Panagarry (Current Loughborough Lightning player)
Shamera Sterling (Loughborough Lightning Alumni)
Niamph Cooper (Loughborough Lightning Alumni)
Michelle Drayne (Loughborough University Alumni)
Michelle Magee (Current Loughborough University student)
Oonagh McCulloch (Loughborough University Alumni)
Ella Gibbons (Loughborough University Alumni)
Maryka Holtzhausen (Loughborough Lightning Alumni)
Phumza Maweni (Loughborough Lightning Alumni)
Renske Stoltz (Loughborough Lightning Alumni)
Mary Cholhok (Current Loughborough Lightning player)
Peace Proscovia (Loughborough University Alumni)
Adelaide Muskwe (Loughborough Lightning Academy Alumni)
The tournament gets underway on Friday 12th July and will see 16 countries battle it out across 10 days of competition in a bid to lift the trophy.