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Today we have the privilege of introducing you to Anna Thexton, Associates III’s Front Office Coordinator and, as you’ll soon learn, a member of the 2014 National Championship Australian Rules Football (aka Footy!) Team. Here she is taking down the competition:

Yeah, she’s pretty fierce! We wouldn’t want to mess with her and we’re really glad she’s on our team. It’s been fun learning about her sport of choice, and we are thrilled to share her passion for it with you here on our blog. Let’s get started…

Q: What is Australian Rules Football?

Aussie Rules is by far the most exhilarating sport I’ve ever played! First, to clear up any confusion, Australian Rules Football is NOT rugby.  It is fast paced, high scoring, full contact, and unlike rugby, the ball can be passed in any direction. To an outsider, it may look as though there are no rules, but that’s not the case. The ultimate goal is to get the ball through two uprights after having successfully moved the ball down the field utilizing kicks and occasionally a hand ball. The field is oval shaped, and can range in size from 135 – 185 meters in length to 110 – 155 meters in width; that’s more than two soccer fields wide!

Q: How did you get involved? Tell us about the Denver Bulldogs.

Jimbo Baldwin, who played for the Denver Bulldogs for many years, placed a business card on my car window inviting me to Aussie Ball, which is the co-ed non-contact version of the sport. I was very nervous, but I went anyway and scored something like 10 goals that first night. I was hooked and fell in love with the sport. The Denver Bulldogs is to date the most successful club in the USAFL; the Men’s team has claimed 8 Division I National titles, and this year the Women’s team made history, bringing home our fifth consecutive National Championship, something no other women’s team has ever accomplished. We are already strategizing for number six!

Denver Bulldogs Australian Rules Football Team, photo by Joshua Kuehl

Denver Bulldogs Australian Rules Football Team, photo by Joshua Kuehl

Q: Impressive! You’re five time National Champions? What’s your secret?

Training at altitude, of course!  Kidding…I know for a fact that we have the best coach in the country, maybe even North America. Bruce has the exceptional ability to analyze the skills of rookie players and veterans alike and highlight their strongest proficiencies, while also helping each player improve their overall understanding of the game. He is incredibly patient with us and has a great sense of humor, which is necessary when coaching a bunch of women who love to tackle. We train hard, play hard, and most of all we have heaps of fun doing it! The Denver Bulldogs is more than just a group of athletes; we are a family, a network of professionals from diverse backgrounds, and we are a social support system.  We celebrate the wins together, and also commiserate the losses as a unified club.  Add to that passion and enthusiasm for the sport, fierce determination and our love of winning, and there’s a recipe for success.

Q: If someone wanted to get involved in the club how would they go about that?

Check out our website denverbulldogs.org. You may also want to Like the Club and Lady Bulldogs Facebook pages. Training for 2015 will commence in late spring/early summer.

Thanks, Anna! Enjoy your off-season (if there is such a thing for you!), have a fantastic 2015 season and we’ll be cheering for the Denver Bulldogs to win your 6th National Championship next year! 

Pre-game Line up

photo by Rob Colburn