‘Waya competed at her third Commonwealth Games in Glasgow’
She is a trained electrical engineer, a widowed mother of two, and has endured “fat” jibes from people watching her on court.
Yet Mary Waya has inspired a nation of women in Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, to pick up a netball.
“People know her around the world just because of what she could do with the ball,” said netball commentator Anita Navin.
“It went around the body, through the legs and in the goal. Even against the tallest of defenders she can get round.”
Waya forged a 25-year playing career, competed at three Commonwealth Games, and helped develop an unorthodox playing style which saw the national team become known as the Harlem Globetrotters of netball.