Home SPORTS Nakamba, Maswanhise up for top awards

Nakamba, Maswanhise up for top awards

Maverlous Nakamba

Nakamba, Maswanhise up for top awards

AN array of Zimbabwean sports personalities based in the United Kingdom have dominated the nominations for the 10th edition of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) UK.

The awards return to the fold after they were suspended in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The winners, who are being voted for online between July 15 and August 15, will be announced on September 11 at the Mayfair Hotel in London.

Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who English media is linking to a switch to either Crystal Palace or Everton, is the hot favourite to land the prestigious Best Male Sports Personality of the Year award.

He will have to shrug off competition from football referee/manager Farai Hallam, Tawanda Muyeye, a professional cricketer who plays for Kent County, Ipswich Town’s player Zanda Siziba, as well as Waterford forward Prince Mutswunguma.

Netball star Felistus Kwangwa, who plies her trade with Surrey Storm, has also been nominated for the Female Sports Personality of the Year award after a dream start to life in the English top-flight league having joined the club in November last year.

However, Scotland-based rugby player Panashe Muzambe and fellow netball player Adelaide Muskwe are standing firmly on her way.

After grabbing headlines in the colours of Leicester City, teenage sensation Tawanda Maswanhise has as well been rewarded with a nomination for the Young/Junior Sports Personality of the Year category.

Maswanhise, who became the first Zimbabwean to receive a medal in English FA Cup after making the match-day squad for champions Leicester City in the final against Chelsea in May, has been grabbing the headlines of late.

He has sparkled for the Leicester City’s juniors and has been retained in the senior team with indications that he would be given some significant game-time by the 2016 English Premiership champions.

Josh Masara, Ryan Gwadzima, Junior Bunjira and Ethan Kachosa are the other nominees for the junior category.

Maswanhise said he is feeling honoured.

“The nomination only means a lot,” said Maswanhise.

“I am a young sportsperson with the whole future ahead of me.

“I am working extra hard to improve in all the aspects of my game that of course include on and off the field of play.

“As an individual, I know what exactly needs to be done. I make sure that I pay attention to every piece of advice. I am glad to receive this nomination. It means a lot in my young career.

“I cannot talk of winning right now but well, if I happen to win, I will be the happiest man. But trust me, the nomination has spurred me to develop the extra push in training. It means everything in my career. Last season, I was in the senior match day squad for a few times and that also aided to the growth of my confidence.

“I am very happy and I am obviously looking forward to the future with a lot of expectation.

“Being nominated for such a prestigious award in an environment where there are a lot of youngsters across means a lot and that alone is a big, big achievement.”

Sport is one of the four base categories being rewarded.

Chairperson of the ZAA, Conrad Mwanza, has since congratulated the nominees while announcing he will be stepping down from his position.

“First of all, congratulations to all the nominees who continue to lift the Zimbabwe flag high and make us all proud,” said Mwanza.

“To us, you are the winners and carriers of our national pride around the world.

“This year we will be commemorating our 10th Anniversary and reflect on a decade that has been fruitful in changing the misconceptions about the abilities of our communities over the years. We started this vision with a view to highlight the stories of positive achievement and impact by Zimbabweans.

“I have run my course at the helm since our inception in 2010 and am very proud of all the ground we have covered and hand over the baton to the next generation to run with the vision as we place Zimbabwe in its rightful place on the world map.”

In other news,

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The Zimbabwean international spent much of the 2020/21 season on the bench but was given a few opportunities in the final few weeks.

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