Shooting from the hip! – Question Marks over Using the San

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Whilst yours truly feels obliged to embrace the presence of archers from the disadvantaged San community at the recently concluded World Archers Championships at Heja Lodge, one just can’t resist the temptation to question the genuineness of their inclusion in the mix, since they only compe-ted against themselves – armed only with old-fashioned traditional equipment.

I’ve said it before and I’ll put it in writing for the umpteenth time –
it’s a brilliant idea to bring archers from the San community and let them do what they do best, after all, archery is reminiscent of their livelihood, which is hunting with the bow and arrow, period!

My only concern is that these boys will never be able to transform into fully-fledged archers and compete against the world’s best if we keep restricting them to compete against each other while using traditional tools.

True to my Maker and myself, that’s not what the average Namibian wants to see, and we must honestly guard against the practice of these boys being merely used as political pawns and tourist attractions.

My advice is simple, incorporate the San archers systematically into the fold and teach them the basics of archery because there is a huge difference between aiming at a specific target on the scoreboard and shooting with the aim of keeping hunger at bay.

The primary objective of hunting is to kill the animal with very little emphasis placed on a specific target since one only needs to aim at the vital parts of the animal and there are quite a few, which gives the hunter more options.

What is the rationale behind using these boys in a separate makeshift competition if they cannot go abroad and represent the country internationally?

Well! I hope and trust the boys’ conduct with archery did not end at Heja Lodge and I wish to see them being co-opted into organized structures, probably with an established club so that they could be taught the basics of this particular discipline – if sports authorities are genuine about their long-overdue inclusion in organized archery. I rest my case.
Another Administrative Blunder

I find it disgusting that some people still have the audacity to make irrelevant comparisons when they happen to find themselves at the short end of the stick.

I really have sympathy with Agnes Samaria for her frustrations about having to qualify twice for this year’s Summer Olympics, but to hit back that Frank Fredericks was never compelled to go the same root is a bit far-fetched.

A quick reminder. Frank is a world acclaimed athlete and had it not been for the drug cheaters in world athletics, he could have won several gold medals at the Olympics, but some other time justice will finally prevail and the truth will come out.

It should be remembered that Frank’s times were always within the qualification parameters and he never needed to be involved in preliminaries because qualifying for major events for him was like taking candy from a toddler. Frank is a legend and should be accorded some measure of respect.

Going to the Olympics is not only about making up the numbers – it’s all about competing with the best athletes in the world and if athletes should be measured against past performance, then what is the use of sending them to the Games if they are struggling to meet the required qualifying times.
Still, Samaria has a case – why was she not properly informed about her dilemma and who is responsible for the mess.

Instead of owning up to their blunders – sports authorities are now playing the blame game again, and as has become customary practice amongst the top echelons in our sport, fingers are being pointed in the direction of my childhood buddy “Bra B”, who appears to have become a soft target.

Aish!, how I wish I could offer the baritone vocalist some space in my band so that he can release himself from the often-unjustified accusations levelled against him at every turn. What would athletics be without Alpha?

Surely it will be a boring affair because there will be nobody to blame if the heat becomes un-bearable in the kitchen.

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