Mary Waya has taken on international netball matches, has opened her own netball academy, and has started her own foundation; now she’s taking on the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay as a Batonbearer.

From a young age Mary had always been exposed to the world of sport. Her parents played in the police football and netball teams, and her older siblings followed in their footsteps, with three of her older brothers played for the Malawi National Football Team. Once, when they visited England for a training camp, they brought back a netball for Mary and her sisters to play with and her passion was ignited!

She began playing internationally when she was 14, since then she has represented her country in over 200 games and helped them secure their highest ever placing of fifth at the Netball World Cup in 2007. Over her 25-year career she has played in three previous Commonwealth Games including Kuala Lumpur 1998, Melbourne 2006, and Delhi 2010. She has now retired from playing but is still engaged with sports and the community.

In 2011 she started own netball academy with her major objective being to reach as many girls as possible with the message of hope, especially to those who may not otherwise have had the chance to show and grow their talents.

Mary has continued her philanthropy through founding the Mary Waya Foundation. The foundation works together with other charities to tackle local issues such as child marriage and abuse. Through the foundation she also raises money to build netball courts and centres for her Netball Academy. She is passionate about giving young girls opportunities, guiding them along a happy and healthy path and helping them flourish.

Watch Mary talk about what the Commonwealth Games and sport mean to her: