Canberra coach to lead Canada to Olympics
Former Hockey ACT representative mentor Ian Rutledge will spearhead Canada’s bid to be successful at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after being appointed coach of the women’s team.
Rutledge has led the Canberra Lakers and Canberra Strikers teams in the Australian Hockey League in the past.
But he is taking an opportunity to step on to the international stage and chase Olympic glory.
“I am very excited to assist a group of young and aspiring athletes achieve their Olympic dreams,” Rutledge said.
“I am looking forward to bringing my passion, skills and experience to a proud and growing hockey nation that has set some ambitious goals.”
Rutledge coached the Australian men’s team in 2001 and took over as the New Zealand women’s mentor in 2003, leading them to the 2004 Olympics and 2006 Commonwealth Games.
After spending the past four years on limited coaching duties, Rutledge said he was energised for a new challenge.
“I am better prepared and have a greater perspective for the pursuit and challenges that lie ahead.”
He wants to create a long-term legacy for the Canadian women’s team.“National coaches have the responsibility to succeed both in the present as well as consciously provide the platform for the next generation of coaches and players to soar even higher.
“The women’s national team is at such an exciting crossroads as we make our way towards Rio in 2016.
‘‘Along the way, we will definitely focus on a successful performance on home turf at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
‘‘Our long-term vision is to position Canada’s women for a potential podium finish at the 2020 Olympic Games.”
Rutledge will arrive in Canada on March 5.