League: Newfoundland and Labrador Australian Football League (NLAFL)
Province: Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
Website: *coming soon*
Facebook page: St John's Puffins
The climate of Newfoundland does not lend itself to outdoor sport, comprising of four distinct, yet unearthly seasons of; Winter, Almost Winter, Still Winter and July (often curtailed to two weeks). A few Aussies had arrived in St John's the year before and were looking to spread the fun, fitness and camaraderie that Aussie Rules can bring to a community. So, like the vikings many years before them - they were defiant, hungry and numb - and a bunch of fit and some not-so-fit individuals ventured out to a nearby soccer pitch in Bowring Park of May 2015 to form the first ever Australian Rules Football team to grace the dirt of "The Rock" - The St John's Puffins.
Shortly thereafter a reciprocal agreement with the nearby Swilers Rugby Club saw the Puffins gain access to their playing fields,club rooms and bar, and thus the playing strip of the Puffins aligned with the Swilers to represent the Republic of Newfoundland colours, White, Pink and Green. The Puffin representation arose from a pre-season trip to Elliston - about 3 hours North-West from St John's - which is the home of the Puffin species. Upon viewing the un-graceful flight of the puffins, and their inability to launch far off the ground/surface of the water, it was thought to be the most representative figure of the somewhat ageing Aussies who were looking to start the footy club. Hence was born the name and logo of "The Puffins".
2015 saw the Puffins take flight to Halifax to play in a 3-team tournament against Halifax Dockers and Cape Breton Giants - where the Puffins remained victorious throughout the tournament through some challenging tussles with their maritime brethren. From there we hosted a team from Edmonton/Calgary (The Fugglies) on a typically windy day in St John's, and whilst victorious, all were losers that night - beaten by the local screech coupled with a wet-fish kiss delivered by a man dressed in a rain coat holding a wooden paddle. To wrap-up the season the Puffins travelled to Montreal for the inaugural Eastern Canada Championships, where they won all their games bar one, which proved to be a defining match as they narrowly missed out on a place in the final by a single behind on a count back. 2016 shall see redemption, many are hungry for silverware and some more Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.
The Puffins train in St John's on Thursday evenings from 6:15pm at Bowring Park and play practice matches every second Sunday at Swilers Rugby Club. Get down if you're in St John's and enjoy a level of fitness, superb blokes and healthy sessions of imbibing!