Former chairman of Malawi National Council of Sports and now the leader of opposition in parliament, Lazarus Chakwera is urging Malawians to vote for the country’s sole netball export Mwawi Kumwenda for the International World Games Association (IWGA) 2015 Athlete of the Year Award.
Chakwera told Nyasa Times that Mwawi received a “deserved” nomination as the only African and netballer among 18 nominees from various sports disciplines across the world, saying that means the Malawian has “so distinguished herself in the discipline of netball that her efforts are now being celebrated by people in other spheres of influence.”
The nomination follows her impressive performance at the World Netball Championship in New Zealand last year where she attained a 91 percent shots on target and 321 baskets that earned her the Player of the Tournament Award.
“Not only is this a cause for all Malawians of good will to smile, but an inspiration for each of us to look to the future with hope that our present individual efforts are contributing to a prosperous future for all of us as a nation,” said Chakwera.
He added: “Not only is this level of distinction something that we should rejoice in as a nation, but it is something we should each emulate as citizens in our own vocations.£
The 26-year-old New Zealand-based Tactix player will battle it out against other nominees such as Ukrainian power lifting champion Larysa Soloviova, American athlete Regina Jaquess, Thai martial artist Vewart Comta, Danish athlete Vewart Comta, Colombian archer Sara Lopez, Dutch korfball star Mady Tims and American gymnast Laura Zeng.
Chakwera stated that Mwawi has raised the flag of Malawi high.
“She has not reached this level by waiting for handouts, nor has she done it by giving excuses to justify a wait-and-see attitude towards her own future,” said Chakwera.
“This level of excellence demands the kind of self-discipline, self-development and self-determination that refuses to accept the popular notion that there are heights other nations can reach that are impossible for us to scale.
“Like her, we must obliterate the word ‘impossible’ from our mindsets. If Mwawi can do it, we too can do it.,” said Chakwera.
He said Mwawi’s achievement has made him to be proud Malawian.
A public vote through IWGA Facebook and Twitter accounts is underway and the winner will be announced on February 1 2016 .
Chakwera , therefore urged Malawians to vote for the 26-year-old netball super star on the IWGA link www.theworldgames.org
“It is up to the rest of us to do our part by voting for Mwawi so that she wins this award,” appealed Chakwera.
“Let us vote today, vote tomorrow, and vote everyday so that there is no part of the journey that she walks alone.”
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Rosy Chinunda said they are “very proud” of Mwawi’s achievements.
She also called on Malawians to “rally behind” the Malawi Queens shooter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :