World Netball has named Malawi Queens legend Mary Waya as its official Heart Ambassador.
She becomes the world netball governing body’s sixth ambassador since its rebranding from the International Netball Federation.
In a statement posted on the organisation’s website netball.sport yesterday, World Netball president Liz Nicholl said they chose Waya for her contribution towards the development of the sport globally.
She said: “Mary is a role model for millions in Africa through her legacy as an international netballer, coach, and entrepreneur.
“Her vision to inspire and motivate young women and girls to become confident women through her foundation demonstrates why Mary is the perfect ambassador to represent our ‘Heart’ value.
“By educating others, providing opportunities, and showcasing the power of sport, Mary is using her experience and life lessons to give back to the community.”
In her new role, Waya is expected to be travelling around the globe, inspiring young girls to take the sport seriously and as a potential career.
Commenting on her appointment, Waya said: “I am extremely honoured to have been invited to become the World Netball Heart Ambassador.
“I am passionate about the sport and want to use it to create role models that can go back into their communities and motivate others to be the best version of themselves in their everyday lives.
“World Netball’s strategic plan outlines how the governing body will harness the power of netball to change lives and I look forward to working with them on this.”
Waya started playing for Malawi national netball team aged 14 and earned over 200 caps, helping the team secure their highest-ever fifth-place finish at the Netball World Cup in 2007.
In 2012, the Malawi star then went on to coach the Tanzania national netball team and away from the court, she has also set up the Mary Waya Foundation.
Netball Association of Malawi president Abigail Shariff described Waya’s appointment as a blessing to the country.
She said: “It is not a mean achievement to be considered by the world netball governing body for the ambassador role.
“There are so many reputable individuals that could be considered for this in other countries such as England, Jamaica and Australia, but they went for our own netball legend. As NAM, we are proud of her and we wish her all the best in her endeavours,” she said.