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AFLW Star Kate Lutkins Balances Motherhood and Footy

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Kate Lutkins, the esteemed key defender of the Brisbane Lions in the AFLW, is navigating the realms of motherhood and professional footy with grace and resilience.

After a remarkable career in the Australian Defence Force, Kate Lutkins ventured into the world of AFLW, where she has left an enduring mark since 2017. Today, not only is she a seasoned player with a Grand Final best-on-ground accolade under her belt, but she has also embraced the role of a new mother to her daughter, Riley.

A pinnacle moment that led to Lutkins choosing motherhood was the passing of her grandmother post the 2021 Grand Final. In that emotional juncture, she found a deep-seated desire to start a family and grace her mother with the joys of grandparenthood.

Amid planning for a child with her partner Kate, Lutkins embarked on a challenging journey that saw twists and turns. An initial plan for intrauterine insemination in the early stages of 2022 was thwarted as she suffered an ACL injury just as the AFLW season commenced.

Undeterred, Lutkins steered through her knee reconstruction with resolve, which was soon followed by a round of IVF to freeze embryos for future use. This strategic move laid the foundation for a successful IVF round in January 2023, aligning with her partner’s military schedule.

Steeping into the realm of motherhood while approaching the later phase of her career at 35, Lutkins exemplifies a practical, no-fuss demeanor towards life’s challenges. Her journey, marked by resilience and a touch of unpredictability, offers a peek into the intricacies of navigating top-tier sport alongside the joys of parenthood.

Following the much-awaited arrival of Riley, Lutkins made a conscious decision to sit out Brisbane’s premiership-winning 2023 season, focusing on her family and the early days of motherhood. The AFLW stalwart’s journey underscores the delicate balance between sporting pursuits, professional commitments, and the joys of nurturing a young family.

As Lutkins resumes her journey post-partum, navigating the realms of training, fitness, and family life, she sets her sights on a gradual return to competitive footy. Balancing her roles as a key player in the Lions’ lineup and a devoted mother, her story reflects the evolving landscape of women’s sport, where resilience and determination reign supreme.

Currently on leave from her role in the Australian Defence Force, where she transitioned to the Air Force in 2022, Lutkins is embracing the opportunities that lay ahead. Her decision to take a year off, amplifying her focus on footy and family, mirrors a narrative that celebrates the multi-faceted journeys of women in sport and beyond.

Rachel Adams

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