23 Apr 2011 (ntnews.com.au)
RICHARD Tambling says he wouldn’t be where he is without the love and support of his grandmother.
Now he wants to give something back to those less fortunate than him.
While at Richmond, Tambling worked with the charity organisation White Line, a juvenile centre which supports troubled kids.
He also did some mentoring and charity work at indigenous communities in Alice Springs.
In October – at the request of the AFL Players Association – Tambling visited poverty-stricken Sri Lanka with Sydney players Brett Kirk and Adam Goodes and Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell as part of a global reconciliation tour working with youngsters.
“They’ve had 30 years of civil war and then the tsunami (in 2004), so we went over to learn a few things and help out a little bit,” Tambling said.
“It was definitely a life-changing experience because the people there have done it pretty hard. There is a wide variety of religions there but they all came together to help each other out after the tsunami.
“Now they have moved on to work together and build leaders to change the face of Sri Lanka. We’ve taken a bit out of that and our group is working on something here, aimed at indigenous kids, but also all religions.
“I’m just trying to help people, particularly kids, because after what my grandma and others did to help me, I want to give something back and make life better for others.”
Tambling’s tough background has helped him cope with the flak he has copped for being selected one spot before Hawthorn superstar Lance Franklin – who is on his way to becoming an AFL great – at the 2004 national draft.
“It puts things into perspective for me,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve copped a bit from Richmond supporters and the media over the years because they highlighted the draft that I was in.
“But hopefully now that I’m at Adelaide I can put that behind me and make the most of my new start. Craigy (Crows coach Neil Craig) has been very supportive of me, so I’m really keen to make the most of my career here at the Crows.”
Tambling returns from injury to face Carlton at Etihad Stadium today.
There is plenty of pressure in today’s game on small Blues’ forward Eddie Betts.
Carlton’s coach Brett Rattten had hinted earlier in the week Betts could be dropped if he didn’t lift his game.
Carlton fullback Michael Jamison has backed Betts to find form as part of a mobile Blues attack he believes can unsettle Adelaide.
Jamison says the Crows’ tall defence has been a strength for them.
“We hope that Jeff Garlett and Eddie, and we’ve brought some smaller players in, we hope they can zip around the forward line and cause some headaches,” he said yesterday.
A similar tactic paid off in Adelaide last year, when Garlett, Chris Yarran and Betts kicked seven goals between them in a 48-point win.