Australian named to lead Canadian women's hockey squad to Rio 2016
Friday, 08 March 2013
March 8 - Ian Rutledge has been named the new head coach of the Canadian women's national hockey team, with the Australian now being responsible for leading the squad to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 40-year-old, who as head coach of New Zealand's women lead them to solid finishes at the Athens 2004 Olympics and Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, will not only focus on the short to medium term objectives, but will work on creating a long-term legacy for the programme.
"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 started his international coaching career in 2001 when he coached the Australian men's team, before accepting his role with the New Zealand women.
He returned to his home nation in 2007 as the coaching manager for Hockey Australia and in 2009 became the sport performance manger at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
"I feel refreshed and energised for the re-entry into international coaching," Rutledge explained.
"I am better prepared and have a greater perspective for the pursuit and challenges that lie ahead.
"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.
"I look forward to working with our athletes and staff to create an environment that allows us to chase down aspirational goals – a team environment highlighted by enjoyable hard work and a collective pursuit of excellence."
Field Hockey Canada's general manager Gene Muller welcomed the appointment of Rutledge to the organisation.
"I am delighted Ian is joining the Field Hockey Canada team," he said.
"His appointment is an indication of our ambition to succeed internationally.
"Ian brings experience, passion, and knowledge.
"His track record and enthusiasm makes him the perfect fit for our women's national programme.
"We are lucky to have him, and I look forward to welcoming him into our high performance team."