Celebrated former Queens star shooter Mary Waya has been appointed Tanzania national netball teamâ€”the Taifa Queensâ€”head coach.
Both Waya and the Tanzania Amateur Netball Association (Chaneta) confirmed having sealed a one-year deal.
Speaking in a telephone interview from Morogoro, Tanzania, where the team is camping ahead of an international tournament to be staged in Singapore, Waya said she was excited to have landed the job.
â€œThere was a vacancy, so I applied. They recently called me for interviews and last Monday [November 5] I was officially informed that I was successful.
â€œI am yet to sign the contract, but I have already started working. I am currently in camp with the team. I am delighted to be entrusted with this task. I just do not know how to express my gratitude,â€ said Waya.
Waya is considered one of the best netballers to emerge from the local scene and indeed the continent.
She has taken over from a long-serving coach, Mary Protas, who led the Taifa Queens to second position during the Africa Championship hosted in Tanzania early this year. Waya was Protasâ€™ assistant.
The decorated netball legend has been in Tanzania since last year conducting various clinics. She also coached Filbert Bayi Schools before being appointed Tanzania national netball team assistant coach.
Chaneta acting general secretary, Rose Mkisi told Daily News of Tanzania that Waya had been offered the job and she has already undertaken his new assignment to train the side ahead of the six-nation tournament later this month.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Hellene Mpinganjira said they were delighted at the news.
â€œIt is very good news, it shows that they [Tanzania] appreciate Malawian talent. As an association, we are proud of her and we wish her well in her new task,â€ said Mpinganjira.
Waya has a long history as a player when she started playing international-level netball at age 14, and has played in more than 200 representative matches for Malawi.
During that time, she competed in two World Netball Championships (1995 and 2007), three Commonwealth Games (1998, 2006 and 2010), and two World Netball Series (2009 and 2010).
Waya came to international prominence during the 2007 World Championships in New Zealand where the Queens finished fifth.
She announced her retirement after the tournament, but rescinded her decision due to public demand the following year.
After the 2010 World Series in Liverpool, Waya again announced her retirement from international netball along with fellow veterans Peace Chawinga-Kalua and Esther Nkhoma.
Before going to Tanzania, she doubled as assistant coach/ player for MTL Queens.