By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi first and only netball professional player, Mwawi Kumwenda, stands the chance of winning the prestigious International World Games Association (IWGA) 2015 Athlete of the Year award as she is leading in the votes as of Friday, 15th January, 2016.
IWGA website, www.theworldgames.org, reported on Friday following the preliminary results after the first 10 days of voting, the 26-year-old was leading with 3,035 votes, followed by Russian dance couple DmitryZharkov and Olga Kulikova with 2,488.
On third place was Flying Disc Beach Ultimate mixed team from Germany with 1,570 votes. Mwawi is one of the 18 athletes that have been nominated to be voted for the award.
Voting is still on till 31st January, 2016 on www.theworldgames.org. Fans are allowed one vote a day.
Just two weeks ago, Mwawi Kumwenda replaced English Premier League’s Manchester City and Cote d’Ivoire’s international player Yaya Toure as Airtel Malawi as the new brand ambassador.
The campaign, whose theme is ‘It’s Now’ is Airtel’s corporate social responsibility in youth empowerment for development that seeks to nurture and glow talent in Africa through sports.
The leading telecommunications service provider with operations in 20 countries across Africa and Asia, also sponsors Airtel Rising Stars that is participated by schools locally and internationally across Africa.
The company also sponsors a netball tournament tournament, Airtel Money, as well as financially supporting the Malawi National Netball Team, The Queens — Africa’s netball powerhouse alongside South Africa.
The celebrated netball icon plies her trade with Auckland Tactix in New Zealand.
Mwawi was originally spotted by Australia’s Peninsula Waves whilst with the junior national team during the 2009 Netball World Youth Cup where she was one of the tournament’s prolific shooter.
In the 2014 ANZ Championship season, Mwawi amassed more goals than any shooter in the competition and won the ANZ Championship’s Best New Talent award along with other awards from the club.