Nikolai “Bruiser” Hill enjoys juggling his life around watching, playing and coaching sport.
He is a running back for the dominant flag football champs DMS West Bay Hellcats and plays soccer for various teams. Previously a national football team striker when he was knocking the goals in for Scholars International, Hill now just plays for recreation, but has not lost his competitive edge, hence his nickname.
“I like flag and soccer evenly, because I do them both for fun these days,” he said. “It’s still fun to be active and I might as well enjoy it.”
Hill’s father Donald – a Jamaican who lives in London – was a track athlete and is an avid fan of Arsenal and of West Indies cricket.
“Dad would always take me to watch the Jamaican national football team and to Sabina Park to watch West Indies and especially his beloved Rusea football team in Hanover, Jamaica. Sport is in my blood!”
Hill, 35, takes an interest in all the American sports as well as the traditional European ones.
“Deion Sanders (former NFL and baseball star) is my all-time favorite athlete. So much skill with so much swag.”
He was also a sprinter at Iowa Wesleyan College and played briefly for non-league English team Croydon Athletic.
Hill also enjoys the odd game of golf and harbors ambitions of mixing with the elite. “Playing 18 holes in a real pro-am tournament would be nice,” he said.
One of busy Hill’s duties is as a fitness instructor at Universal Fitness in Countryside Village.
He is pleased with how the local sporting scene is emerging and the growth in sports tourism.
“Cayman is obviously developing as a sporting center,” Hill said. “We see growth in the way young athletes perceive sports and what it can do for their futures. And that’s key.
“I would love to see American football in primary schools.”
A big boxing fan too, he is picking Floyd “Money” Mayweather to beat Manny Pacquiao on stoppage, in the eighth round on May 2.