Just Saying with Matts Haikali

This past week I got a chance to attend various sporting activities where people of different ages and skills were taking part in sporting activities. It was very disheartening to see all these athlete performing to the best of their abilities in front of meagre crowd of people, who one could count on their one hand.

There is a need to cultivate a culture of supporting those we love, when they go showcase their skills on the sports field, it does not matter whether it’s a soccer field, cricket field, race course or car track, we need to start providing the ambience that motivates athlete to put their best foot forward.

The lack of supporters’ structures in this country is a area of concern for me, there is a need for us to develop a culture of support for our athletes every time they take to the field, track or course.

Am just saying maybe the sports administrators are the ones who are failing the sports? Or the reliance of somebody else to publicize our events might be the problem. It is about time that we ensure that we have explored all areas of reaching out to people to come and support our athletes, if the athletes spend five days training and the administrators make sure that the resources for training to take place, then it is about time that the same administrator invest in making sure that they publishes the activities and make sure that they invest in making sure that they sell sports activities as entertainment. Who wants to go to a sports activity and wait for half an hour doing nothing, because there is nothing happening?

As a supporter I need to pay for services that make sure am entertained. The offering must be attractive enough to be able to bring potential or future supporters and friends who would otherwise not have anything to do. if we do this when this athlete grow older they will want to go and support their children and other people children, but if we do not support them, they will do exactly as we are doing to them.

Sports is big business, and sports is an entertainment commodity that need to be marketed and sold as such. If sports administrators can not think in that direction, then let them go to school, and acquire the necessary knowledge to be able to make sports more attractive for the masses. Let’s follow the same trends set up by other entertainment industry such as music concert. Let join forces with other entertainment industry, to attract people to our sporting events.

I recently attended the European Football Fans Congress in Manchester England, and the insight from that gathering and the contacts that I created made me rethink about how sports administrators should value supporters.

I would like to thank Sandlanders Supporters Africa and the Fans Matter! and Kick-off! Project for the opportunity to learn but also on their offer to provide the necessary skills and knowledge for club leadership in Namibia, on how supporters club can add value to the game of football. This is an initiative that will be coming to the country very soon. Lets embrace and mobilise each other. Watch this space.

Am just saying the onus is on us.

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