While expectations are high on the prospect of Malawian netball star, Mwawi Kumwenda winning 2015 International World Games Association (IWGA) Athlete of-the-Year Award, the New Zealand-based goal-shooter may get just a trophy for her historic achievement.
A statement on the association’s website reads: “A trophy will be awarded in cooperation with the winner’s federation.” Kumwenda is leading the votes ahead of Sunday’s deadline.
The 2013 winner, Marcel Hassemeier from Germany, also received a trophy during a board meeting of the German Life Saving Federation in Bad Nenndorf.
Winning candidate for 2014, Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic, also got a trophy in cooperation with the International Federation of Sport Climbing.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) president, Rosy Chinunda, said it was sad that Mwawi may not get any monetary rewards in the likely event that she wins.
She said Nam was equally dismayed when the netballer did not get financial rewards when she won the Player of-the- Tournament Award at last year’s World Netball Cup in New Zealand.
“The communication we have is that the winner of this poll will get a trophy. But we are interested in what else the winner will get. We have heard of financial rewards being attached to such awards in other games. Why not in netball?” Chinunda queried.
She disclosed that Nam had asked organizers of last year’s World Cup why Mwawi did not get money, but the hosts simply said they had forwarded her name for nomination as World Athlete-of-the Year.
“We will be raising this matter at every gathering that we attend so that our voice is heard. It is not fair to deprive winners of such great awards of monetary rewards,” Chinunda insisted.
IWGA president, José Perurena, gave no hint of monetary rewards in the award when he posted recently on the association’s website. Fans are voting through the website www. theworldgames.org.
His comment reads, “After the highly successful voting in 2014 and 2015, we want once again to celebrate the achievements of our outstanding athletes with this public vote. This campaign shows the diversity of our sports, too.”