Malawi National Netball Team defender Towera Vinkhumbo has been named Players’ Player of the Season in the United Kingdom’s (UK) Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) after a fantastic season with Strathclyde Sirens.
Vinkhumbo has won the award at the expense of Team Bath Netball stars goal shooter Kim Borger and centre Serena Guthrie, and Leeds Rhinos’ goal shooter Donnell Wallam who were also in the running for the accolade.
The league’s website, netballsl.com, described the former Kukoma Diamonds stalwart as a rock.
“Vinkhumbo made her VNSL debut in 2020 but truly stamped her mark in the competition with Strathclyde Sirens in 2021. The Malawian was a rock at the back for a Scottish side who exceeded all expectations this season.
“Vinkhumbo led the league in terms of intercepts (60) and turnovers (93) in 2021. She also sat in fifth for deflections (56) at the end of the regular campaign. She takes over from Sam Cook who won this award in 2019,” reads a report on the website.
To put the icing on the cake, Vinkhumbo has also been included in the league’s All Star squad alongside Borger, Cardwell, Gierson, Guthrie, Malcom and Guscoth.
Vinkhumbo, who doubles as Malawi National Women’s Football Team defender, narrowly missed the Sky Sports Fans’ Player of the Season award, finishing as runner up to Wallam.
The other runners up in the category are Manchester Thunder top shooter Joyce Mvula, who won the award in the 2019 season, and her teammate Eleanor Cardwell.
Mvula was also runner up in the Gilbert Golden Shot award which is given to the player with the most goals in the regular season.
Mary Cholhok won the accolade after being consistently top of the scorers’ leaderboard throughout the 2021 campaign.
At the end of the regular season, the Ugandan finished on 772 goals with a shot success rate of 88 percent against Mvula’s 92.7.
“This was the goal shooter’s best scoring season to date and she finished 122 clear of second-placed Joyce Mvula of Manchester Thunder. This is the second season in succession that Cholhok has won the award,” reads the report on netballsl.com.
Diamonds have since congratulated Vinkhumbo in a tweet that reads: “Congratulations on winning this award voted for by your fellow players. You have been phenomenal from the first whistle to the last and with stats to prove it. Well deserved.”
Vinkhumbo was also nominated for the Vitality Player of the Season which went to Beth Cobden of Loughborough Lightning.
Queens Coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa hailed Vinkhumbo for her exploits.
“Towera is well disciplined and focused. She is eager to learn and I believe she will reach her full potential,” Chawinga- Kaluwa said.
Vinkhumbo’s club mentor Karen Atkinson won the Coach of the Season accolade after guiding the Scottish outfit to position six with 32 points, their best-ever points tally in the league.
The Malawi Queens defender had a great season with Sirens and topped the most intercepts category with 60.
She was also the best in the turnovers category with 93.