Steve “Snorkel” Rutledge
Positions: Full Back, Half Back
Steve grew up in Edmonton, AB, but it wasn’t until he moved out east to Toronto for school that he discovered the wonderful game that is footy. He played his first season in 2010 with the Toronto Central Blues, and was lucky enough to be named the club’s defensive player of the year, in a season that saw the Blues win the premiership. He was subsequently selected to represent Team Canada (the men’s team often is referred to as Northwind) for the 2011 International Cup and travelled to Sydney and Melbourne to compete that summer. Based on his performance at that International Cup, he was named both Player of the Nation for Team Canada, and was named to the 2011 World Team (or tournament all-star team) from all of the various countries players. Since then, he has continued playing footy for the past 3 years in Toronto for the Central Blues, in Edmonton for the Wombats, and also has represented Canada in two Parallel Cups (an annual international game against the United States). The only regret that he has with respect to AFL is not deciding to pick up a footy earlier in life!
Positions: Half Forward Flank, Wing, Half Back Flank
Jen has always been a very sport-minded individual. She has played and participated in soccer, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, curling, track and field, cross country running, and swimming. For the majority of her life, Jen’s primary focus was competitive soccer, winning both city and provincial championships in Edmonton, Alberta.
Jen was subjected to Australian Rules Football as a supporter of the 2011 Canadian Men’s and Women’s teams at the International Cup in Australia. She thought – “If they can do it, why can’t I?” Jen accepted the challenge and started playing footy with the Edmonton Australian Football Club in Edmonton, Alberta.
The club provided the opportunity of winter training, where new players could develop their skills and learn the intricacies of the game. Jen took full advantage of these sessions and practiced her kicks and handballing in preparation for the 2012 season. Over pre-season, she continued to develop her abilities, adapted her skills from competitive soccer, and footy quickly became her favourite sport.
In only a few short months, Jen was named to the 2012 49th Parallel Cup squad and played against the United States in Dublin, Ohio. Upon selection, Jen made it a personal goal that the next time she would be in Australia she’d be playing, not watching. Through a lot of hard work both on and off the field (lots of gym time, extra runs, kicking sessions, flying across the country to play in 18-a-side games, watching hours of AFL – all in between working a full-time job and having 2 knee surgeries in 2012), she was named to the 2014 International Cup squad.
Other than being named to the national team for 3 successive years, Jen has had many other highlights including participating in the Edmonton Emus first team win, attaining 2012 Edmonton Australian Football Club’s Most Improved, winning 2013 AFLO Women’s Rookie of the Year, being named to the 2013 AFLO All-Star Women’s Team, and receiving 2013 Toronto Central Blues Best and Fairest.
Jen will be entering her third season of footy, and second playing in Ontario, for the Toronto Central Blues.