Player of the Tournament: Shooting an almost flawless event with 321 goals earned Malawi Queen, Mwai Kumwenda the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 Player of the Tournament. Her recognition keeps the award in the African continent following South African Erin Burger’s award in 2011.
As the most prolific shooter of the 2015 World Cup it is not only the 91% accuracy but the volume that Kumwenda puts up with 351 goals in 8 games over the 10 days and only 31 misses. In 2011 Kumwenda shot 222 goals – at the same 91% accuracy rate.
Kumwenda hails from Blantyre, the commercial hub of Malawi and started playing netball at 15 but not taking the game seriously until she was 17. Her prodigious netball ability has taken the now 25 year old to international notice and she was the first African player to sign in a New Zealand Championship franchise, playing for Canterbury Tactix for the past two seasons.
However she had honed her skills earlier in Australia when Victorian coach Maxine Wauchope spotted talent in the 19 year old at the 2009 World Youth Cup in the Cook Islands, and invited Kumwenda to train with her Victorian League team Peninsula Waves.
Making her World Cup debut in Singapore, the Malawi Queen has 57 caps to her name including two Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow, African Championships and international Tests.
After the fifth place playoff Kumwenda said, “I am pleased with my performance during the event but I don’t think of me. I really concentrate on the whole team’s performance and try to do my best for them.”
Asked how she keeps the goals going in she says she “puts up 500 practice shots every day –and I don’t miss a day.”
A humble and worthy Queen of the court.