Malawi National Netball Team has got a timely boost as Melbourne Vixens has allowed Australia-based netballer Mwawi Kumwenda to play for the Queens in the Fast5 World Netball Series next month.
Initially, Vixens said they would be reluctant to allow the lanky goal shooter to take part in any competitive games as they wanted her to have ample rest ahead of the pre-season in November.
“When I was coming here for off-season holiday, I enquired if I would join the Queens for the tournament, but they [her club] told me that it was an issue that would have to be looked into as they had to consider other eventualities such as injury since I am insured.
“But the club has given me the go-ahead following discussions they had with my manager Warren Greg.
“According to my manager, all that they will need is formal communication from NAM [Netball Association of Malawi] should I be selected,” she said.
Mwawi expressed delight at the development, saying: “I have stepped up my daily training schedule so that I should be in shape by the time the team goes into camp.
“Last time we finished third and hopefully this time we can do even better. I am more excited because the tournament will be held in my base in Melbourne.”
Mwawi returned home last month from Melbourne after a dream debut season in the Suncorp Super Netball League in which she was named the best GS.
NAM general secretary (GS) Carol Bapu described it as a welcome development, coming at a time when the tournament is just around the corner.
“Obviously, it’s good news because Mwawi is one of our reliable players and having her in the team provides extra motivation.”
She also said the schedule for the team’s preparations will be announced after the final phase of the GOtv Netball Champions League slated for September 30 in Lilongwe.
“All the details pertaining to the preparations such as squad, composition of the technical panel and training schedule will be released soon after the GOtv tournament,” said Bapu.
The Queens won bronze at last year’s tournament when they defied the odds to beat the world’s third-ranked side England to give the world a feel-good tale of the biblical little David that brought down the giant that was Goliath.
Malawi also beat Jamaica and South Africa at the tournament. n