Malawi’s sole netball export Mwawi Kumwenda has been nominated for the International World Games Association (IWGA) 2015 Athlete of the Year Award.
She is the only African and netballer among 18 nominees from various sports disciplines across the world.
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.
The 26-year-old will battle it out against other nominees such as Ukranian powerlifting 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.
The New Zealand-based Tactix player said she was humbled to be among the world top athletes nominated for the award.
A public vote through IWGA Facebook and Twitter accounts is underway and the winner will be announced on January 31.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Rosy Chinunda has urged Malawians to vote for the Queens shooter.
“As NAM, we are very proud of Mwawi’s achievements. When International Netball Federation wrote us informing us about the nomination, we were so delighted.
“This is not a mean achievement. There are thousands of athletes around the world from other disciplines, but it’s our Mwawi who got the nomination.
“Let us continue voting for Mwawi and I have no doubt that she will bring the award home. For once, let’s forget all the negatives about Malawi netball and rally behind our girl. If she wins the award, it’s Malawi that will win, not just her alone,” said Chinunda
Her manager Hlupikile Chalamba said they had already started a campaign to woo votes for the former Escom Sisters player.
“We also urge all Malawians to vote for Mwawi on the IWGA link www.theworldgames.org,” she said.
IWGA, which is recognised by International Olympic Committee (IOC), has 36 members including International Netball Federation.
Mwawi was on Wednesday named Airtel ambassador n