International Netball Federation (INF) pegged Malawi star netballer, Mwawi Kumwenda’s exploits, on International Women’s Day’s celebrations held on Tuesday worldwide.
INF president Molly Rhone, writing on the association’s website to celebrate the day, cited Kumwenda’s achievements for Malawi netball Queens and her New Zealand club, Tactix as a testimony that women can excel in life.
“Mwawi is a shining example of the power netball has to change lives, and the power, netballers, have to make our world a better place,” she wrote www.inf.org.
“As we honour International Women’s Day, we take pride in our sport, celebrate our role models, congratulate those who are using sport as a vehicle for promoting equality, and commit with even deeper determination and passion, to our INF vision and mission of empowering women and girls through netball.”
Rhone said the day’s United Nations’ (UN) theme of “Planet 50- 50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality” augurs well with the achievements of netballers such as Kumwenda.
“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage. Courage takes many forms. For example, it sometimes takes enormous courage just to believe, to hold on to a dream, and beat apparently insurmountable odds,” Rhone stated.
“International netballer, Mwawi Kumwenda, first played netball aged 15, in Mzimba, a small town in Malawi. Mwai was so determined to play that she used plastic sheets melted over an open fire to make her first netball. Eventually, that determination, alongside her passion, skill and sheer talent, led her to play for the Malawi Queens, the national netball team.”
INF reflected Kumwenda’s achievement for Tactix and country, including being voted Player of the Tournament at the Netball World Cup Sydney 2015, then being voted International World Games Association Athlete of the Year 2015, collecting an impressive 17,900 online votes.
“A woman determined to be all she can be, and brave enough to seize opportunities, even when that meant traveling thousands of miles from her home and family, Mwawi has never forgotten her roots. She organized a campaign to collect school uniforms, clothing, shoes and equipment from New Zealand and send in containers to Malawi, and is using social media to inspire and encourage girls and boys in Africa to follow their dreams,” Rhone added.