Monday 14 June 2021
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Calls for sport database make rounds

Talks on the lack of an existing database which captures sports records for Namibian sports enthusiasts have resurfaced, with pundits calling for sport bodies to set up such systems as a matter of urgency.
As it stands, most if not all is left to snippets from newspaper articles or one-on-one encounters with persons in the fraternity should one require information pertaining sport personalities.
Sports minister Erastus Utoni this week amplified the same sentiments rather ambitiously calling for a ‘sport museum’ to archive all sport successes stories.
“We have successful people like Harry Simon and Frankie Fredericks but there is no system that has properly archived their history and successes. It seems the entire history of most of our sport personalities is only in newspapers,” said Utoni.
Utoni, who has been very vocal about the need to redress sport administration added that the history of Namibian sport is not properly documented, hence the need thereof.
“There are people who have done very well but future generations will not get to know about them because there are no records of these personalities. We need to preserve what we have, while it is still early,” added Utoni.
What are the greatest sports records in history? Which ones will never be broken? Is it possible to compare records across eras, or, for that matter, across sports?
According to pundits, these are questions that will never get answers without corresponding available data.
Football followers have been vocal on the matter for years saying they are left to directly ask players or coaches on football records in the country.
“As it stands, if you want to see how many caps a player like Deon Hotto has for the Brave Warrior, there is nowhere you can find such information unless you call the player themselves or the coach.
This is not professional for sports in our country,” said Oscar Shafondjodi, a football fan.
“This is done in other countries so I don’t understand why we don’t have something like this here.
We are left to call the people directly but what about those who do not know these people in person?
We have people who just want to read up on a certain sport genre and personalities in that particular sport code but you simply do not have anywhere to go,” added Shafondjodi.
The football fan made reference to athletics sensation like Agnes Samaria and Luketz Swartbooi, boxer Rambo Hantindi and Ali Nuumbembe, and footballers like Fillemon Angula and Razundara Tjikuzu, saying they will not be known by those who have not been around during their time if their history is not on a system to the public.
He is of the opinion that this information is supposed to be gathered and made accessible to the public, just like information on foreign leagues is available to Namibians.
“Our sport commentators barely have information about players on the field unless they have been around for that long.
I want to know who the top goal scorer of the Brave Warriors is without having to call some old soccer guru in the location.
You can go on the Namibia Premier League website, you don’t even have transfer news,” he shared.
Chief Administrator of the Namibia Sport Commission Freddy Mwiya said his office is working on a ‘Wall of Fame’ to document the history of sport personalities of yesteryear.
“The information is known and it is out there. What we need to do is simply to centralize this data and make it available to the people.
At the moment, one has to call the line sport federations if they need information in that specific sport code. But this is not conducive. So we are looking at having a central system that will capture all these records,” said Mwiya.
The Namibia Football Association media officer Den Kamati also shared the same sentiments saying the grave need for a database is a matter of urgency.
Kamati says a system of this nature will bring about credibility, consistency and one that the public can rely on.
“At the moment, one will have to call the coach or a player to get information.
Whether they lie to you or tell you the truth, it is all up to them. So we need these systems in place,” he said.
Kamati also called on sports officers within the line ministry to muscle on the task, saying it should be a concern to them that sports in the country is not documented.
“We have so many of them not doing much so they should take on this task and put systems in place.”
In contrast, the football association’s secretary general Barry Rukoro differed with the public stance, saying the local football governing body taps into the database of a private individual who is well versed with the national team affairs.
Asked to share the link, Rukoro said that he was at a farm at the time and could only do so the following week.

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