Richmond will celebrate the Many Cultures that make up the Tiger Army this week ahead of Saturday twilight’s match against North Melbourne.
The campaign will highlight the wide array of cultures and beliefs of the players, staff and supporters that make up the Club. It follows on from the Many Cultures Festival held prior to the Round 17 match against GWS in 2019.
The week-long celebration builds on the Club’s commitment to inclusion and diversity through its existing programs and partnerships.
Richmond Media caught up with Mexican Richmond fan, Edgar Guerrero this week to discuss his connection to Tigerland.
Richmond Media: Tell us where you are from and when you moved to Australia?
Edgar Guerrero: I am from Mexico, Mexico City. My wife and I moved to Australia in 2012 because we got a study scholarship. That was for two years, and we thought we would give it a try.
What was your first experience with the game of Australian Rules Football?
I had the chance to first experience the game because someone gave me tickets. That is all it took. It is strange because, in my background, it is very common for people to get involved with soccer.
I do not really enjoy soccer, and I thought AFL was an amazing game, so I wanted to learn about it. As part of that, it was a way to get involved with the community. I found that the game was a great area for me to understand the culture and Australia’s passions.
It helped me to start a network and get more involved.
How did you start supporting Richmond?
I was doing my Masters in Sport Management, so I applied for a multicultural scholarship, which ended up seeing me able to do some voluntary work with the team (Richmond).
The AFL was looking for people from diverse backgrounds, and Tim Livingstone invited me to come down; and it was an amazing experience being involved with the operations team.
The experience changed my vision about the game, and I learned so much. Through Richmond programs such as the Bachar Houli Foundation, I realised the potential of sport and what it can do for people from diverse backgrounds.
Why do you think football is such an inclusive game?
It is a top game. If you go to the ground as a spectator, you feel that embrace from the people. The Tiger Army has something special. Once you are sitting next to a person wearing the Yellow and Black and they look at you and see the same colours, they are so friendly.
They invite you to feel welcome, and it is a great experience. It is something that in other sports I have not experienced.
I have attended baseball, cricket and even soccer and it is something that you do not experience.
Does following Richmond make you feel more connected to Australia?
Yes, and the whole community. Absolutely.
What are your favourite Richmond moments?
I attended both the winning 2017 and 2019 preliminary finals; they are hard to split.
In the game against Geelong (2019), I remember those last few minutes. Everyone was so nervous. I remember looking around me, and all the people were so nervous, but also, you could feel this built-up emotion like it was about to explode.
It was like, 'come on, hurry up siren', and then when it went, I remember people around just started hugging me, and we sang the song. It was an emotion that you cannot feel with just one person. It made me so proud to be a part of a team.
It means a lot, and I cannot imagine what it is like for the people with the opportunity to attend the Grand Final. It is like the Super Bowl.
What about 2017?
To be honest, maybe that was my favourite. To have 97,000+ Richmond people singing and knowing they were through to the Grand Final was an incredible moment. I remember that day because I was shaking. I was fortunate to be able to attend.
How does Richmond compare to the major sporting teams in Mexico?
Well, for me the big difference is the work Richmond does in the community and all of the incredible organisation’s that Richmond supports. That is completely different to what happens (in Mexico), it is very difficult for the Mexican sporting teams to do the sort of stuff that the Tigers do.
And lastly, who are your favourite players?
Daniel Rioli, Ivan Soldo and Shai Bolton.