Tradition and culer passion, the recipe of success for the Almogàvers of Garrotxa
REPORTS 11 Apr 2019 - CMP
With over 300 members and from the catalan town of Olot, the PB Almogàvers Garrotxins has been combining catalan traditions with blaugrana passion for over two decades.
Founded in 1997, the Penya Blaugrana Almogàvers Garrotxins is now a consolidated nerve centre for the promotion of culer traditions and values in Garrotxa. It exists thanks to the effort, perseverance, and above all else the passion of a group of fans from Olot, who saw their entity officially take shape in 2010.
Clam, the blaugrana giant
As the organisation grew (it now boats over 300 members), the penyistes considered it right to create a standard that would become an unmistakable symbol of the supporters' club. And so, the traditional Catalan giant known as Clam was born; a figure which represents the perfect combination of the supporters' club’s two main engines: FC Barcelona and Catalanism. A large number of colles de geganters -the associations dedicated to the Catalan tradition of the gegants- travelled to Olot from all over Catalonia for the baptism of this honorary supporters' club member, in an emotive event that made sure to include Catalan traditions such as sardana dances, coca pastries, hot chocolate and walks around town.
Hey, where’s the president?
Every week, the entity organises a coach for members who wish to watch live matches at Camp Nou, a tradition that spans right back to its foundation. On one of these expeditions, the penyistes stopped to stretch their legs at a service station. When the fans were back on the coach, however, they realised that someone was missing. More specifically, they were lacking the most important member of the entity: Francesc Corcoy, its president. They’d left him behind in the cafeteria and he was rescued by the coach of another supporters' club also making its way to the stadium, where he was later reunited with the Garroxtins.
Almogavers active for good causes
Aside from the traditional culer get-togethers, the sporting trips and the fact that they all meet at the headquarters to watch the matches, the supporters' club also promotes activities such as the one which its vice-president, Anna Domènech, claims to have been the most laborious of all: a day packed with fireworks for the little ones, musical performances, and percussion and makeup workshops organised to raise funds for the most needy.
And this isn’t the only example of their solidary work. Along the same lines, the PB Almogàvers Garrotxins has participated in initiatives such as the TV3 telethon La Marató, collaborated with the Albert Bosch Foundation in the fight against cancer, and taken part in fundraising days for Sahrawi refugees raising money for the entity, Natura & Màgia, Àfrica Màgica, which aims to offer young Sahrawi refugees a few hours of respite.
"Help us to help, this is our motto," says the vice-president of the entity. The motto of a supporters' club loyal to the Catalan traditions, culer down to the marrow and conscious of the needs of our society.