Expressing his love for sports through writing
Andrew Poolman is a senior journalist for Republikein at NMH. A sports fanatic, he feels at home when reading a newspaper or magazine article about rugby.
13 November 2020 | People
Andrew Poolman was born in Windhoek on July 25, 1975. His late father was a doctor (general practitioner) and his mother a housewife. He attended Orban Primary School, followed by Jan Möhr High School and finished at Windhoek High School.
“I fell in love with rugby at a young age and although I never really excelled at playing it, I was obsessed with reading about it. I eagerly devoured Dr Danie Craven’s books and those of other rugby writers and knew the names, positions and provinces of a pretty good percentage of all players that ever wore the Springboks jersey,” he says.
As a young boy he spent many hours imagining himself as a rugby selector, picking past and present teams, writing down “Dream Team’’ lists based on the commentary he had read in match reports or history books.
With Afrikaans as his best subject in matric, he considered a career in sports writing and initially applied, unsuccessfully, fresh out of high school. He joined Republikein as a sports writer in October 1995, when the newspaper’s main sports writer resigned to pursue other career options.
“The late Uncle Des Erasmus called me up to ask if I was still interested. I had met him before for an interview and while subsequently doing a few freelance sports tasks for Republikein, so when they offered me N$300 p.m. more than I was making as a Bank Windhoek clerk at the time, I resigned and joined up with NMH (then known as DMH),” he says.
For Poolman, working for Republikein as a sports journalist has truly been a dream come true. He has never felt a desire to pursue other career paths; he found his true passion and does not see himself working for another newspaper in Namibia or abroad.
“I am proud to be a Namibian and I take much pride in any achievement by our sportsmen and sportswomen on the international stage – in any sports code. Boxing, cricket, athletics, cycling ... my sporting interests have grown much wider than when I first started,” he says.
Among the highlights that stand out in his career were the times he was given the opportunity to travel with the Namibian rugby team to Madagascar in 2014 for the World Cup qualifying tournament, as well as to the Rugby World Cup in England the next year.
“I was also privileged to have media access at ringside at the Carousel in Pretoria on 22 August 1998, when Harry Simon beat the USA’s Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright to become a boxing world champion for the first time.
“It took a 20-plus-hour bus trip the long way around via Ariamsvlei to get there, but it was worth it,” he says.
Poolman is very pleased with his time at NMH, during which he also worked a number of years as a sub-editor.
“It doesn’t really feel like a long time, because it remains a fun challenge to cover local sports in the best possible way, and to always strive towards getting quality photos of those unexpected sporting moments.
“Over the years I have had truly amazing mentors, to assist one in speeding up your personal growth, which I am very thankful for,’’ he says.