As published in the Westside Weekly Messenger.
Written by Patrick Keam.
When Joseph Masika arrived in Australia in 1996, the words drop punt, torpedo and centre-half forward may as well have been gibberish to him.
But now the Tanzanian migrant knows them all too well as part of the game he loves, Aussie rules football.
Dr Masika is West Adelaide Football Club’s newest board member after he was appointed in April.
His journey with the game began when son Peter came home from school one day with an unfamiliar ball.
“I said ‘what is this’,” he says.
“I was interested as soon as I saw a game of football and one thing that came into my mind was that you catch the ball and can then run with it.
“It made me think, because in Africa we are very good runners, we will be able to score lots of goals.”
Dr Masika has filled many roles at football clubs since, from goal and boundary umpiring to endless jobs behind the scenes.
“My role on the board will be to be the bridge between the club and the multicultural community,” he says.
SANFL clubs have engaged harmony ambassadors for Multicultural Month to advise, plan and support their allocated club and connect with multicultural groups.
West Adelaide’s harmony ambassador Michael Denisoff says there will be halftime entertainment, food and other events at Richmond Oval when the Bloods host North Adelaide on Saturday.
“It’s about recognising the day and building connections,” he says.