The investigation sheds light on the continuous decrease in the number of professional athletes in Egypt. The country has lost more than a third of its professional athletes in the past decade, which is approximately 350 thousand athletes. The decrease is caused by many reasons, one of which is the weak sports medical system and the lack of financial income for the athletes themselves.
The investigation has not created a wide impact yet at the official level. However, it helped clarify the environment and circumstances Egyptian athletes are living in, and the reasons causing to embark an early retirement, to look for other means of living. The investigation helped create more awareness about the lack of government care for athletes in different sports.
The investigation used open source tools to collect data. The journalist was able to gather data from official governmental sources on the number of athletes in Egypt in the past few years. The journalist sent out a survey to 200 retired athletes . Several tools were used in the investigation to scrape, analyze and visualize data such as Flourish and Excel.
Context about the project:
The most difficult part in the investigation was reaching out to the largest number of retired athletes, to understand the different reasons that pushed them to retirement. The journalist was able to reach out to 200 athletes in different sports and different provinces. The security and safety of the journalist were also a big challenge, as this is one of the topics that is rarley discussed in media, and the journalist had to use a pseudonym to protect his identity and maintain his safety.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
The investigation was based mainly on data that is available on the internet. The main takeaway from that is the idea that sometimes stories can be there in front of us, but we have to spend more time researching and thinking about the different details that we want to focus on. This investigation focuses on a sport topic, which is not a very popular or consumed topic in investigative journalism in the Arab world generally. It’s very important to understand that corruption and lack of interest in human rights is not only related to social life or employment, but it is actually present in different aspects of a human life.