By Effie Caloutas
Ladies from the Yarra Ranges flocked to Woori Yallock to see Melbourne Vixens Goal Shooter Mwai Kumwenda talk at the Ladies Lunch on Saturday 29 July.
Kumwenda spoke in front of 70 ladies about the challenges she faced in Malawi.
Woori Yallock Coach Sarah Hogan who organised the guest speaker and played alongside Kumwenda at the Peninsula Waves in 2013, said it was a pleasure to have the Melbourne Vixens Goal Shooter talk to netballers from the Yarra Ranges.
“It was a really nice day for the girls to see what someone like Mwai has been through.”
“She had some really good advice to give to regional netballers about staying true to your own roots and to keep working hard to achieve your dreams.“
The Melbourne Vixens spearhead was also pleased by the reception she received at the ladies lunch.
“It was really good,” she said.
“The people were so nice. I was impressed.”
The star Goal Shooter has scored 518 goals for the Melbourne Vixens, with some of her career highlights including ‘Player of the Tournament’ at the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.
With a passion for netball since the age of 11 after watching her friends play the sport, the talented netballer was scouted at the age of 14 by the national coach of the Malawi Queens, the African women’s side after being spotted playing barefoot on a dirt court.
Kumwenda says that she was surprised when she heard they wanted to recruit her.
“I was only playing the sport for fun,” she said.
“However they believed that I had the talent because I was tall.”
Making the move to Australia in 2011, the Malawi Queens spearhead was recruited by the Melbourne Vixens at the end of the 2016 season following a standout performance for the national side at the Fast5 World Series and playing for the Mainland Tactix in the ANZ Championships for three years.
Kumenda says she has enjoyed her time in Australia since making the move from Malawi.
“Life is so much different in Australia,” she said.
“Our family has struggled in Malawi.”
With a contract at the Melbourne Vixens helping her support her family in Malawi, Kumwenda now wants to continue to work hard at the Melbourne Vixens in hope of the side winning the cup next season.
“My ultimate goal is to continue to work hard and for the Melbourne Vixens to win the cup which will be the ultimate dream for me.”